Using electronic signature apps: what is the eIDAS regulation?

Using electronic signature apps: what is the eIDAS regulation?
If you are considering ditching the paper for electronic signature apps, you must ensure that you understand what the eIDAS Regulation entails.
John Dennehy

CEO & Founder of Agreeable

If you are considering ditching the paper for electronic signature apps, you must ensure that you understand what the eIDAS Regulation entails. Whether you are an individual, business or government service, you have to make sure that you adhere to this Regulation for your electronic signature to be considered legal in the EU and across borders.

eIDAS accepts three kinds of electronic signatures (basic, advanced and qualified), enables individuals and legal organisations to sign documents online, and stipulates Trust Service Providers’ rules.

So, if you’re a business operating in the EU, listen up.

What Does eIDAS Stand For?

eIDAS is an acronym for ‘Electronic Identification and Trust Service’. Implemented back in 2016, all EU parties had to comply with immediate effect.

In short, the eIDAS Regulation 910/2014/EC exists to verify the identities of those using electronic signatures and the documents they are signing or agreements and authorisations they are making.

What Exactly is the eIDAS Regulation?

It is a regulation that exists to ensure that electronic signature apps, businesses and customers comply with standards, making electronic signatures legal. It also forms a “market of trust” in the EU, ensuring these signatures’ legality outside of the EU. 

This means that you can operate, transact and sign online remotely and in a flash. While still having the power and trust that it is valid as well as secure.

Why Does the eIDAS Regulation Exist?

Well, it is a means to standardise regulations to apply to all the EU states. It serves as a framework that businesses and customers have to follow. Whether you are making an online transaction, accessing a service, or signing a contract, you must ensure that it is legally binding.

More businesses are moving online globally every day. And the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we operate. So there must be regulations in place to ensure trust and enhanced security in the online world. This is especially true when it comes to signing with electronic signature apps. And when more businesses and individuals use electronic signature apps like Agreeable, they save time and money. They even help save the environment by cutting down on paper usage. It’s a no-brainer, really! 

In short, eIDAS effectively ensures that each country in the EU does not have their own set of requirements. But that they all comply with the same standardised Regulation. This thereby creates a type of trusted and uniform “Digital Single Market”.

So What Does This Mean for My Business?

If you are a European business, you must comply with eIDAS when using digital signatures and certificates.

The eIDAS Regulation accepts the following electronic signature types:

For Everyday Signing: Basic Electronic Signatures 

According to eIDAS Regulation, a basic electronic signature is: “data in electronic form that is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and used by the signatory to sign”. This is usually your signature made on a screen or even when you consent to something online.

For Confidential Security: Advanced Electronic Signatures (AdES)

Linked to the individual who is signing, it must be able to identify and indicate the signer. This signer will create the signature with data only they can control, making it clear when their signature has been tampered with.

For Highest Security: Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES)

This type of signature is the only one with the same legal weight as a wet signature. Signers must use digital IDs that are certificate-based and issued by an EU Trust Service Provider. Furthermore, you must make this signature on a qualified signature device that can create a one-time passcode.

How Does eIDAS Benefit Me?

Whether in a personal or professional capacity, eIDAS benefits you by increasing security and trust when it comes to the online world. Whether you are an individual, business or in the government, it makes everything more convenient.

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