Provide digitally sealed documents with an electronic organization seal or digital hallmark
Providing documents that the recipient can (or should) rely on do not always have to be signed. An electronic signature primarily refers to a person, but sometimes it is also sufficient to sign on behalf of an organization or "authenticate" the documents with an electronic seal; also known as an eTarget.
From 1 January 2019, suppliers (manufacturers, importers or agents based in the EU) must register their products in the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL). In May 2022 the database will be launched for public access and consultation. Since last year, the European Union also requires all suppliers of electrical equipment to use a qualified digital 'seal' for the registration and labelling of products used in Europe.
Legislation authentication with electronic seal
The electronic seal, or 'eSeal', is a legal tool that we are not yet familiar with in the Netherlands. The essence is that it can be shown that a document with that content has actually been issued electronically by an organisation. The definition in the eIDAS Regulation is 'data in electronic form that is attached to or logically linked to other data in electronic form and used to guarantee its origin and integrity'.
Like the digital signature, the data is electronic and, like the signature, authentication can only be applied to electronic data. The difference with a signature is that it does not bind a person, but an organisation. A signatory is defined as a natural person and cannot be an organisation: a legal person cannot sign digitally either. Digital authentication offers a solution for this. An additional privacy advantage is that you no longer have to attach the personal data of the relevant signer to the document if that signer does not actually matter for the purpose of the document.
Use eSeals for, among other things:
- Contracts and other legal documents
- Bank and financial statements
- Medical documents
- Travel documents
- Insurance policies
- Tax documents
- Employment contracts
- Entry forms
With Zynyo eSeals, documents can be digitally sealed and provided with an electronic organization seal or digital seal. This can make great sense for public organizations for electronically issued documents that serve as evidence - such as abstracts and orders - on which a third party can rely. It also makes sense in the private sector for such things as policy terms, statements, certificates and other supporting documents.
The three forms of electronic sealing
There is also an ordinary, advanced and qualified form of authentication with electronic seal. The systematics are the same as for signing, but the forms are defined separately in the eIDAS Regulation. For ordinary and advanced seals, it is up to the user of the seal to convince the judge, and for qualified seals, the judge must presume the integrity and correctness of the origin. Qualified seals are subject to the presumption of evidence of Art. 35(2) eIDAS-Regulation.
According to the eIDAS regulation, the ordinary digital seal consists of "electronic data used to guarantee origin and integrity." No additional requirements are imposed on the technology used.
The advanced seal does have requirements for the technology used and must actually meet the same requirements that apply to the advanced signature, namely sufficient assurance of the correctness of the issuing organization and integrity of the document (not modifiable afterwards).
The qualified seal can only be added within the environment of a Qualified Trusted Service Provider (QTSP) obv a qualified PKI certificate. The QTSP ensures that documents can be digitally sealed within the applicable legal frameworks so that the sender and integrity are irrefutable.