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📝 Digital Signature Market Outlook
Regularly the terms e-signature and digital signature are used interchangeably, but each has different features that make the distinction between the two.
“Electronic signature, or e-signature, refers to data in electronic form, which is logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign. This type of signature provides the same legal standing as a handwritten signature as long as it adheres to the requirements of the specific regulation it was created under (e.g., eIDAS in the European Union, NIST-DSS in the USA or ZertES in Switzerland).”
“A digital signature guarantees the authenticity of an electronic document or message in digital communication and uses encryption techniques to provide proof of originality."
There are different laws accepted in countries worldwide regarding the use of e-signatures. The major difference in laws and how e-signatures are treated and accepted are laws implemented in the U.S. and in Europe. Regarding which territory we’re targeting as our initial user base, those laws need to be our focus and fully compliant with the implementation of e-signatures and digital signatures in our solution. Here is a short list of laws regulated in different countries:
- China - Law of the People’s Republic of China on Electronic Signature (effective April 1, 2005)
E-signatures can be created with high levels of security, with each having its own set of requirements and means of creation on different levels that prove the validity of the signature. To provide an even stronger probative value than the above described advanced electronic signature, some countries like the European Union or Switzerland introduced the qualified electronic signature. It is very challenging to undermine the authorship of a statement signed with a qualified electronic signature. This type of statement is non-reputable. Technically, a qualified electronic signature is implemented through an advanced electronic signature that utilises a digital certificate, which has been encrypted through a security signature-creating device and which has been authenticated by a qualified trust service provider.
The European Union has introduced a list of qualified TSP’s (Trust Service Providers) which provide signing with qualified electronic signatures. So major players in this market that target the EU audience with e-signing services have to offer e-signature methods from these providers.