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Electronic trust services are defined in Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 (eIDAS) and are the key concept of the digital single market that aims to get rid of barriers to electronic commerce and all types of electronic transactions between the different states.

They include services related to the creation, verification and validation of electronic signatures, electronic stamps, or certificates for the authentication of websites, among others.

In the next post we analyse these electronic trust services and the benefits they provide European companies.

Electronic trust services for companies 

The purpose of the eIDAS Regulation is to ensure secure interactions between citizens, companies and Public Administrations, and therefore, to increase the effectiveness of both public and private online services in the European Union.

A “trust service” is defined as the electronic service usually provided in exchange for payment, consisting of:

  • the creation, verification and validation of electronic signatures, electronic stamps or electronic time stamps, certified electronic delivery services and certificates related to these services, or
  • the creation, verification and validation of certificates for the authentication of websites, or
  • the preservation of electronic signatures, stamps or certificates related to these services

These services can be qualified if they meet specific requirements established in the Regulation.

Trusted electronic services: Definitions

Electronic Signature

Electronic signature means data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign.

Electronic seal

Electronic seal means data in electronic form, which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form to ensure the latter’s origin and integrity.

Electronic time stamp

Electronic time stamp means data in electronic form which binds other data in electronic form to a particular time establishing evidence that the latter data existed at that time.

Electronic document

Electronic document means any content stored in electronic form, in particular text or sound, visual or audiovisual recording.

Electronic registered delivery service

Electronic registered delivery service means a service that makes it possible to transmit data between third parties by electronic means and provides evidence relating to the handling of the transmitted data, including proof of sending and receiving the data, and that protects transmitted data against the risk of loss, theft, damage or any unauthorised alterations.

Certificate for website authentication

Certificate for website authentication means an attestation that makes it possible to authenticate a website and links the website to the natural or legal person to whom the certificate is issued.

How trust services can benefit companies

Each of the trust services can be made part of any business process leading to increased productivity and improved customer experience.

The financial industry for example can benefit from the electronic signature when it comes to the identification, authentication and certification of transactions through digitalization and thus adapt to the demand for online services, while complying with the maximum legal guarantees.

Trust services allow companies to incorporate technological solutions to everyday processes such as onboarding, making them 100% digital processes.

For example, thanks to OCR technology, the process of identification and verification of
a client’s identity (or a potential client’s identity) to comply with the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism as well as KYC procedures, is a process that can be carried out digitally thanks to the eID.

By digitalizing these processes, companies can spend less time on operational optimization and more on building relationships with their clients.

Fuente: European Union

Draft of the Spanish Trust Services Law 

Last spring the government presented the Draft of the Spanish Trust Services Law which aims to complement some aspects that the eIDAS Regulation itself leaves to the Member States, as well as overruling Law 59/2003, on the electronic signature.

In this sense, the main changes introduced by the Draft are relating to issues such as sanctions (which includes penalties of up to 300,000 euros), additional requirements for qualified certificates or the conditions for the suspension of certificates.

As it is a preliminary draft, the new regulation may be subject to modifications, may go through a public hearing procedure and finally, it must be approved by the Spanish Congress of Deputies.

However, due to how relevant it is we will keep an eye on how it develops and whether it is eventually approved or not in order to keep you informed of the final text.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 778550.