The qualified electronic time stamp is the result of the digital business transformation, capable of promoting the substitution of paper-based processes for their electronic equivalents. Therefore, contracts, invoices, payments and in general, any type of documentation are moving towards more electronic transmission.
To do this, we need the use of instruments such as electronic signatures, electronic stamps and electronic notifications that ensure the integrity and reliability of communications.
In this post we specifically define what the qualified electronic time stamp is within the electronic trust services that are included in the eIDAS Regulation.
This post is also available in Spanish.
Table of contents
Qualified electronic time stamp & eIDAS Regulation
In a context of cross-border digital markets, it is essential that security requirements based on a legislative framework for the development of electronic commerce are met. And the old Europe is the great standard bearer when it comes to this due to its commitment to the development of the Digital Single Market.
Through the eIDAS Regulation, abreviation of EU Regulation EU 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 , on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market, in force since, 1 July 2016, the legal framework was modified until now to jump-start the use of the qualified electronic signature and stamp.
Based on this approach, the signature or stamp keys are protected within a qualified electronic signature creation device, which must comply with the requirements of Annex II of the eIDAS Regulation, and which have been approved as such by the European Commission.
What is a qualified electronic time stamp?
Firstly, let's start by defining what an electronic time stamp is. In article 3 of the Regulation, it is defined as the data in electronic format that links other data in electronic format with a specific time, providing proof that the latter data existed at that time.
Therefore, a qualified electronic time stamp is an electronic time stamp that complies with certain requirements that are established in article 42:
a) links the date and time with the data so that the possibility of modifying the data without being detected is reasonably eliminated.
b) is based on a temporary information source linked to Coordinated Universal Time.
c) has been signed using an advanced electronic signature or stamped with an advanced electronic stamp of the provider of qualified trust services or by any equivalent method.
Comfort, integrity and reliability is what using the
qualified electronic time stamp provides us
Legal effect of electronic time stamps
From what moment does the insurance you have taken out cover you? When was an invoice issued? Was your claim made on time? When carrying out operations on the Internet, knowledge of time is important and asking a trusted third party to provide proof of the date and time is essential when providing evidence, guaranteeing the time source used and ensuring the integrity of the data thus stamped.
Article 41 stipulates that qualified electronic time stamps shall enjoy a presumption of accuracy of the date and time indicated and the integrity of the data to which the date and time are linked.
Furthermore, a qualified electronic time stamp issued in a Member State will be recognized as such in all Member States.
What is necessary in order to become a qualified trust services provider?
A qualified trust service provider is an electronic trust services provider that provides one or more qualified trust services and to which the supervisory body has awarded such qualification.
These supervisory bodies are designated by the Member States in their territory. In Spain, the Secretary of State for Information Society and Digital Agenda is the supervisory body in charge of verifying that qualified electronic trust service providers comply with the requirements established in the Regulation.
Therefore, when a trusted service provider, without qualification, intends to initiate the provision of qualified trust services, it must submit a notification to the supervisory body of its intention together with a conformity assessment report issued by a conformity assessment body.
This conformity assessment body is therefore responsible for carrying out an audit, called a “conformity assessment”, to said trust service providers to verify that they and their services comply with the requirements established in the Regulation in order for them to become qualified.
If following said conformity assessment, the supervisory body concludes that the provider and its trusted services meet the requirements, it will award the qualification and communicate it to the body in charge of updating the trusted lists.
Said trusted lists have information regarding the qualified trust services providers for which they are responsible, together with the information related to the qualified trust services provided by them.
In Spain, the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda has drawn up this Trusted List of electronic trust service providers (TSL) for qualified electronic trust services providers which are established and supervised in Spain.
More information > Trusted List of qualified electronic trust services providers
Why is it important for my business?
Signaturit we are providers of qualified electronic time stamp issuing services
At Signaturit we are honored to be one of the first private technology companies that have successfully passed the conformity assessment in order to be qualified providers for the issuance of qualified electronic time stamps.
That is why we appear on the list of trust of Spain (TSL) by the Secretary of State for the Information Society and the Digital Agenda, attached to the Ministry of Economy and Business.
This recognition is added to the one we already obtained as trusted third parties according to the Law of Services of the Information Society (LSSI - Law 34/2002, of July 11, Services of the Information Society and Electronic Commerce).
More information: European Commission
Comfort is something that we all seek and, in the workplace, this is achieved thanks to technology and the evolution thereof. Any change whose goal is to improve a process to streamline it.
With this in mind, it is appreciated that the European Union has been concerned that, with a simple click of the mouse, companies and individuals can prove the authenticity of origin and integrity of the document thanks to the qualified electronic time stamp.
Undoubtedly, more qualified trust service providers are required to issue qualified electronic time stamps to face the strong demands of banks, insurers, law firms, companies and citizens in general, who need to have electronic evidence with all the legal guarantees that these qualified electronic time stamps give.
This post is also available in Spanish.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 778550