08 Nov 2013

Legal Analysis of RPost’s E-Signature Service in view of EU Directive on Electronic Signatures


Recently, we were asked to discuss the RPost electronic signature service in view of “European Directive 1999/93/CE on electronic signatures,” a Directive aimed at creating common standards for legal recognition of electronic signatures within EU member states.

“European Directive 1999/93/CE on electronic signatures” introduces several key requirements and definitions:

  • the electronic signature, data in electronic form which are attached to or logically associated with other electronic data and which serve as a method of authentication.
  • the advanced electronic signature, which meets the following requirements:
    1.    it is uniquely linked to the signatory;
    2.    it is capable of identifying the signatory;
    3.    it is created using means that the signatory can maintain under their sole control;
    4.    it is linked to the data to which it relates in such a manner that any subsequent change in the data is detectable.
  • the qualified certificate, which must in particular include:
    1.    an indication that it is issued as a qualified certificate;
    2.    the identification of the certification service provider;
    3.    the name of the signatory;
    4.    provision for specific attribute of signatory included if relevant, depending on purpose the certificate is intended;
    5.    signature-verification data corresponding to signature-creation data under the control of the signatory;
    6.    an indication of the beginning and end of the period of validity of the certificate;
    7.    the identity code of the certificate;
    8.    the advanced electronic signature of the issuing certification service provider.
Source: Community framework for electronic signatures, available athttp://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/information_society/other_policies/l24118_en.htm, retrieved on 11/7/2013

At the request of interested parties in the EU, RPost performed a legal analysis to assess the capabilities and characteristics of the RPost electronic signature in view of requirements laid out in “European Directive 1999/93/CE on electronic signatures.”

The analysis concludes that the RPost electronic signature service fully meets the guidelines contained within the EU Directive and is rightfully considered to be among the best options for European users looking for a standards-compliant, court admissible, and legally-valid electronic signature service.

Click here to read the entire legal analysis.