Trust Services - a key to increase citizens confidence in the online world

In order to remove barriers for cross-border trust services and having regard to results from successful European projects like STORK, which have shown that technical issues of interoperability can be overcome, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted on 27 July 2014 the Regulation (EC) 910/2014 on electronic identification and trusted services for electronic transactions in the internal market  that replaced the Directive 1999/93/EC on a community framework for electronic signatures, which provided for the legal recognition of electronic signatures.

The eIDAS Regulation enables the use of electronic identification and trust services by citizens, businesses and public administrations, to access online services or manage electronic transactions. It repeals Directive 1999/93/EC, which introduced in the legal framework the concept of electronic signatures, and determined that an electronic signature may not be refused as evidence in legal proceedings solely because it is in electronic form.

The Regulation strengthens the provisions for interoperability and mutual recognition of electronic identification schemes across borders, enhances current rules for electronic signatures and also expands the scope of Directive 1999/93/EC to other trust services used in electronic transactions. To this end, the eIDAS Regulation establishes a stable legal framework for five types of trust services, namely Electronic signatures, Electronic seals, Electronic time stamps, Electronic registered delivery services and Website authentication certificates.

ENISA has contributed since 2013 to supporting the EC on the implementation of the eIDAS Regulation by providing security recommendations for a correct implementation of trust services, mapping technical and regulatory requirements, promoting the deployment of qualified trust services in Europe, raising awareness for relying parties and end users on to secure their electronic transactions using trust services, etc. ENISA has produced reports on several areas:

Also in 2015 the Agency, in collaboration with the European Commission, launched the Trust Services Forum, a space that brings together the communities of trust service providers from the EU Trusted List, conformity assessment bodies and supervisory authorities.

These activities will be continued in the next years.

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