An electronic signature serves as an electronically encrypted verification stamp on digital information, such as electronic documents, e-mail messages, etc. eIDAS governs the electronic signature in the European Union.
If we simplify it, eIDAS is a set of requirements for electronic signatures and qualified electronic signatures. eIDAS provides recognition of these signatures throughout the EU. This image shows the official EU mark for qualified trusted services.
eIDAS is the regulation of the European Union no. 910/2014 of electronic identification and trusted services for electronic transactions in the internal European market. In Slovakia, this regulation is governed by Act 272/2016 Coll. on trusted services for electronic transactions in the internal market and on the amendment of certain laws (Act on trusted services).
eIDAS defines the following levels of electronic signature:
QES – Qualified Electronic Signature (Highest level of legal certainty). A qualified electronic signature provides the highest level of legal certainty than a physical signature. QES is practically unforgeable.
AdES – Advanced Electronic Signature (One level lower level of legal certainty, in case of a problem, an expert verifies)
ES – Simple Electronic Signature provides a basic level of legal certainty (In case of a problem, it is verified by an expert)
What does an electronic signature guarantee?
Authenticity – unambiguous identification of the person or institution that signs the document
Integrity – the sent document reaches the addressee in its unaltered form
Non-repudiation – the sender cannot deny the existence of the document
Do you need Electronic Signature?
What is essential to know? – Summary
A qualified electronic signature’s main characteristic is its level of trust.
QES – Qualified Electronic Signature provides the highest level of legal certainty. If you sign a document this way, it cannot be rejected in communication with the state institutions or the case of court proceedings.
In short, QES has the same weight as your physical signature, only in the virtual world, and as a bonus, no penmanship expert will have to verify its authenticity. 😊