Common rules for accepting electronic signatures across EU borders enter force on Friday, but technical differences will still make life difficult for users and vendors
Add in your John Hancock and be on your way.
Defining an electronic signature that satisfies the laws of 28 countries is one thing, but creating one that is accepted seamlessly by desktop applications such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Office, and by enterprise applications such as Salesforce, Workday, Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Ariba, is entirely another, according to the consortium.
Existing legislation, derived from the 1999 eSignature directive, allows certificates for electronic signatures to be granted to natural persons people and legal persons organizations , and makes little distinction between authenticating the content of a document and expressing consent to that content.
However, when the regulation was approved in October 2014, Neelie Kroes, then European Commission vice president, called on incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to make every transaction with the Commission and other EU institutions possible electronically.
After that, unless the U.K. government and the European Commission have agreed otherwise, it will not be possible to make legally binding agreements using eIDAS-compliant eSignatures between a U.K. person and an EU person.
The others hail from EU member states Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain, and from neighboring Norway and Switzerland, and include German state printer Bundesdruckerei, Infocert in Italy, and Docapost/Certinomis in France.