The idea of digital signing has been around for decades. The advantages are obvious — in the globalizing world an ever increasing amount of business is conducted internationally. Express couriers have built empires on delivering documents across borders in a matter of days, if not hours. The expense of the service, however, is respective to its quality and speed, but the risk of identity fraud still remains. Whole books have been written on international trade scams.
Different countries have worked on legislation for digital signatures for years and a number of entrepreneurs already operating on the field claim their services comply with different international directives. Not many of the services, however, apart from those that function in-country, make use of the digital identities issued by government agencies.
A digital signature is essentially made up of the signing certificate stored in the CA’s database and the private key stored in the signer’s SIM-card. In order to give a digital signature, the validity of signer’s certificates is first verified by his or her phone number and the PIN1 code the signer is requested to enter. In case the certificates are valid, the signer can sign the electronic document or container of documents by entering the PIN2-code. A new document or container is created, of which the digital signature is an inseparable part. The content of the signed document(s) cannot be altered after signing, which makes tampering with the already signed documents impossible. A digital signature is essentially a collection of data, which includes, but is not limited to, information on the signer’s identity, the validity of the signing certificate, the time of signing, etc. A digital signature that corresponds to the requirements stipulated by appropriate legislation is legally binding, i. e. equal to a handwritten signature, and therefore involves the same responsibility.