What is eIDAS?
More and more organisations choose to digitise their primary processes, including signing documents. eIDAS was set out in order to give consistency to regulations in the EU regarding electronic signatures.
Let’s start with how the 910/2014 Regulation (hereinafter: eIDAS Regulation) came into force. It all began with the introduction of the Directive on electronic signatures 1999/93/EC (hereinafter: eSignature Directive). This was a first attempt to regulate digital signature services within the European Union. This eSignature Directive required member states to adopt laws that ensure electronic signatures are legally valid within their country. The aim of the eSignature Directive was to ensure electronic signatures were legally recognized within the European Union. However, the member states interpreted the eSignature Directive differently, so that the validity of electronic signatures differed per country. To eliminate these restrictions and obstacles between member states, the eIDAS Regulation was introduced.
The eIDAS Regulation ‘seeks to enhance trust in electronic transactions in the internal market by providing a common foundation for secure electronic interaction between citizens, businesses and public authorities, thereby increasing the effectiveness of public and private online services, electronic business and electronic commerce in the Union’.
The eIDAS Regulation differs from the eSignature Directive because the eIDAS Regulation applies directly to the member states. The implementation of the eIDAS Regulation in national law is therefore not necessary. The eIDAS Regulation provides clarity for all member states and provides the legal framework of electronic signatures in the European Union. Please note that eIDAS Regulation specifies more than only the esignature law. eIDAS also specifies the way how digital identities can be classified (low, substantial, high), the obligation of governmental organizations to accept notified electronic identities of other member states, the technical standard to exchange authentication assertions and the certification of trusted service providers.
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