What is eIDAS?
eIDAS stands for "Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services," and is the commonly used name for the EU regulation 910/2014 governing electronic identification and trust services for European Union Member States. eIDAS defines the standards across the EU for electronic identification (eID), electronic signatures, time stamps, electronic seals, and other proof of authentication that give electronic transactions legal validity equivalent to paper documents. The eIDAS regulation has been enforceable across the EU Since July 1, 2016. Some of the trust services it governs include:
- Advanced and Qualified Electronic Signatures associated to a legal or natural person
- Advanced and Qualified electronic seals associated to a legal entity
- Electronic identification (eIDs) - currently not provided by DigiCert
- Qualified timestamping
- Qualified Web Certificate for Authentication (QWAC)
- Electronic Registered Delivery Services (ERDS) - currently not provided by DigiCert
- Validation Services - currently not provided by DigiCert
DigiCert operates as a Qualified Trust Service Provider (QTSP) in Europe through its QuoVadis subsidiaries and is on the EU Trust List (EUTL in Belgium and Netherlands. DigiCert® Document Signing Manager supports some of these capabilities.
What is ZertES?
ZertES is the Swiss Federal law, approved on December 19, 2003, that regulates the conditions under which trust service providers use certification services with electronic signatures. ZertES is defined with a similar tiered structure and standards as the European Union’s eIDAS regulations. The highest level of assurance, qualified electronic signatures, is equivalent to a handwritten signature.
DigiCert operates as a Qualified Trust Service Provider (QTSP) in Switzerland through its QuoVadis subsidiaries, and DigiCert® Document Signing Manager supports the requirements of ZertES regulations.
Which European Countries Follow Which Regulations?
Electronic signatures and trust services are governed by the following regulations:
- European Member states: eIDAS
- Switzerland: ZertES
- United Kingdom: UK eIDAS Regulations. These are amended from the EU eIDAS Regulations, tailored for use in the United Kingdom. Although the UK eIDAS Regulations allow EU eIDAS services to be recognized and used in the UK, there is no reciprocal agreement that allows for UK eIDAS qualified trust services to be recognized in the EU.
Why is Europe Leading the way in Secure Signatures?
With eIDAS, the European Union has defined the foundation and clear legal framework for people, companies, and public administrations to achieve higher security and convenience for online activities and digital transactions. eIDAS is also a key enabler for secure cross-border transactions, a key objective for the Member States of the EU.