The electronic signature was established in Europe in the 2000s with the European Directive 1999 which recognizes the validity of the electronic signature.
Now, it is the electronic IDentification Authentification and trust Services (eIDAS) regulation that governs the rules on electronic signatures through a common base for all secure electronic interactions between citizens, businesses and public authorities.
This regulation, which has been in place since 2016, highlights in particular that the electronic signature cannot be challenged in court “simply because of its format” since it now has the same value as a handwritten signature on paper. It also presents the different levels of electronic signatures :
- simple electronic signature
- advanced electronic signature
- qualified electronic signature