eSignatures – What You Should Know

What is the eIDAS Regulation?

On the 1st of July 2016, the EU put into force the eIDAS regulation (Regulation (EU) No 910/2014) which was made mandatory and was adopted in all EU member states, with precedent over any conflicting national laws. It establishes an EU-wide legal framework for electronic signatures and a range of newly defined electronic “trust services”.

The eIDAS Regulation was created to enable convenient and secure electronic transactions across the EU for citizens, businesses, and public sector institutions.

Types of Electronic Signatures

The eIDAS Regulation distinguishes between three types of electronic signatures:

Each signature can be distinguished based on its level of security and to what extend a signatory identification mechanism is in place. Below we will look at their differences in more detail.

Simple electronic signatures: This is the simplest form of an e-signature. It can be as simple as ticking a box at the end of an online form. There are no special requirements or special rules that need to be met to qualify as such.

Advanced electronic signatures: To qualify as such, the signature must, cumulatively, meet the following conditions:

  1. capable of identifying the signatory,
  2. linked to the signatory in a unique and non-transferable manner,
  3. linked to the data signed in such a way that any future changes in the data is detectable, and
  4. created using electronic signature creation electronic data that the signatory can, with a high level of confidence, use under his sole control.

These signatures offer a higher level of security by enabling the identification and linking of the signatory to the signed document, and, by connecting the signed document with the signature in a way that enables tracking of any subsequent changes.

Qualified electronic signatures: To qualify as such, the signature must satisfy the conditions required for advanced electronic signatures and the following conditions:

  1. must be generated by a qualified electronic signature creation device, and
  2. must be based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.

The main difference between ‘Qualified’ and ‘Advanced’ e-signatures is that the former must be issued by qualified trust service providers, who are responsible for confirming the identity of the signatory and the authenticity of the signature. It is important to note that as per eIDAS, Qualified e-signatures have the same legal effect as handwritten signatures.

Are eSignatures Legally Binding?

All three kinds of e-signatures may not be denied legal effect or admissibility to legal proceedings for the sole reason of being electronic. This ensures their admissibility to court, but still each signature bears its own evidentiary value and bears different legal weight.

Additional Resources

Below you can find several links to help you better understand the applicability of e-signatures within your region.

https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/library/publication-regulation-electronic-identification-and-trust-services-electronic-transactions

https://www.hellosign.com/electronic-signature

https://www.docusign.com/how-it-works/legality/global

https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/tl-browser/#/

How does TenEnt use electronic signatures

TenEnt’s priority is to ensure the lease agreements signed between landlords and tenants is legal, fair, and enforceable in court. This makes the eSignature a vital part of our workflow.

We have chosen an eIDAS compliant eSignature provider and we have created a workflow that adds a higher level of security when it comes to confirming the identity of the signatory and the non-tampering of the document signed.

If you want to find out more about our services and how we use eSignatures to give you a legal and enforceable lease agreement, please visit our website on www.tenent.eu.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don’t have an account yet? Sign up