Signing on behalf of an organisation

CeBIT: Bundesdruckerei presents the first eIDAS-compliant seal solution for the German market; Inclusion today in the eIDAS Trusted List by the Federal Network Agency; Proof of origin and integrity protection for electronic documents; Used, for instance, for electronic archiving, to send bank statements as well as tax and pension statements

Hanover/Berlin – At this year's CeBIT, Bundesdruckerei is the first company in Germany to present a solution for the so-called electronic seal. "The electronic seal takes the company stamp and the public authority seal into the digital age," says Kim Nguyen, Managing Director of Bundesdruckerei's subsidiary D-TRUST. "When companies and public authorities electronically seal a document, they identify themselves unambiguously as the sender and, at the same time, protect the data against unnoticed changes." The electronic seal can now be used to transmit official documents online, such as notices, deeds and certificates. Banks can use it to send digital bank statements to their customers and to communicate electronically in a legally secure manner with other finance partners. At private companies, this new seal solution means greater convenience for so-called replacement scanning and subsequent digital archiving.

Electronic seals are a central aspect of the 'EU Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market' (eIDAS) and are designed to supplement digital signatures. Electronic signatures are always linked to a single person and are used to issue a declaration of intent. Electronic seals, on the other hand, are issued for an organisation. They provide proof of origin and integrity protection.

Bundesdruckerei's solution is made up of a seal card that contains the secret key and the qualified organisation certificate. Using standard readers and conventional signature software, a qualified electronic seal can be generated. This seal is highly trusted and subject to strict verification. TÜViT, for instance, has confirmed that Bundesdruckerei's solution complies with the high security requirements of the eIDAS Regulation. The Federal Network Agency, as the supervisory authority, has included this seal in its public eIDAS Trusted List. The seal solution is made available by D-TRUST. A subsidiary of Bundesdruckerei, D-TRUST is a so-called qualified trust service provider according to the eIDAS Regulation. These providers are the only providers who meet the strict requirements of the EU regulation on security and liability. Qualified electronic seals are only available from qualified trust service providers.

The D-TRUST seal card comes in two variants: first of all, for single documents, and secondly, as a multi-seal card for batch document processing. Both variants are already available. More information and application forms are available here. 

Archiving, bank statements, tax and pension statements: The seal in action
Many public authorities and private companies now archive in electronic form paper documents that are subject to statutory archiving requirements. The evidentiary value of the documents must be maintained. Up to now, the TR-RESISCAN technical guideline of the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) required a qualified electronic signature to be attached to the document. The qualified electronic seal is now a convenient alternative.

In the banking sector, sealed documents and e-mails ensure secure and trusted electronic communications. According to the EU's new PSD2 Directive, requests from third parties (for instance, fintechs) to the company managing an account (usually a bank) must be secured by a qualified electronic seal. What's more, electronic seals eliminate a serious media inconsistency in online banking: Bank statements with a seal cannot be altered, they hence meet the related requirement under tax law and can be electronically transmitted.

Bundesdruckerei's seal solution now means that more official notices can be delivered in electronic form. That's because when it comes to administrative acts, it must be clear which authority issued the act. There is considerable potential to cut costs, especially where bulk procedures, such as tax or pension notices, are concerned. Legally valid public notices on the Internet are also possible because the seal protects them against Manipulation.

Signing on behalf of an organisation

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