New e-identification regime

| Published on 21 Jul 2015

Chetcuti Cauchi

Regulation (EU) 910/2014, known as the eIDAS Regulation, entered into force on the 17th September 2014 and sets up a new e-identification regime. This new regime regulates and and provides for electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions within the Internal Market, and replaces the previously implemented e-Signature Directive.

Meant to implement a comprehensive legal framework for electronic identification and authentication services, the new e-identification regime establishes a harmonised recognition of the various electronic identification systems used by the various existing Member States of the European Union, for both natural and legal persons. This ensures that individuals and businesses can conveniently utilise their electronic ID (e-ID) to access Internet services across the Member States. For an e-ID system to be recognised throughout the European Union, each Member State must notify the European Commission with regard to the system used, and the Commission will compile and publish a list of such systems. Once an e-ID system is recognised, it will then be granted mutual recognition across the EU.

The new e-identification regime also sets out various rules on trust services. The e-Signature Directive previously only regulated electronic signatures, however the newly set up eIDAS Regulation has now gone further and regulates other areas including electronic seals, electronic time stamping, together with electronic delivery services. The Member States have a mutual obligation to recognize trust services as long as they obtain a qualified certificate from another Member State. The new e-identification regime also sets out a higher accountability standard for security services, which raises the standard of services provided within the EU.

The Regulation is not yet final since secondary legislation will be required to solve technical problems. However, the ultimate effect of this Regulation is the further development and integration of the Digital Single Market as well as the creating of further business opportunities.

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