What is the legal framework in Europe?

Under European law, the eIDAS regulation of July 23, 2014 was a game changer, making it easy to prove that electronic signature technology is secure and reliable.

It implemented a new, harmonized framework for digital trust services (among which electronic signature) and provides that national courts cannot reject electronic signatures as evidence.

The eIDAS regulation has created three types of electronic signatures (Simple, Advanced and Qualified, depending mostly on the authentication process) and a system of certifications issued by national supervisory authorities for each provider. Once certified, the provider obtains the label of Trust Services Provider (TSP) and may operate in any member State. A trusted list of all certified providers is published and updated by the European Commission, making it easy for national judges to assess whether the electronic signature is secure.

The eIDAS regulation has allowed the electronic signature to boom in Europe. It is now a reference law that has inspired a lot of national regulations, even outside the European Union.

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