The European Forum on Electronic Signature and Trust Services (EFPE) is the largest international conference in Europe dedicated to trust services and electronic identification. In the era of transformation of the digital economy, administrative structures and the societies themselves, these services are being recognized as essential for the implementation of these processes in an efficient, universal and at the same time safe way. The EFPE brings together the international community representing scientific, state, local government, EU and more and more business areas, becoming an obligatory event in the calendar of institutions and experts dealing with these issues.
On 29-30 May 2019 in Szczecin, the 19th edition of the EFPE conference took place. It’s main topic was the question “Business without paper. Inevitable or impossible?”, which the participants attempted to answer during presentations, debates, interviews and backstage talks.
More than 140 participants from all over the world, including in particular from Poland, China, Germany, Russia, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, took part in the EFPE 2019. Among them were representatives of the European Commission and ETSI representing the European Union, while on the Polish side – representatives of the Ministry of Digitization, Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology, NASK (Research and Academic Computer Network), Office of Technical Inspection and other institutions of public administration. Also present were representatives of entities utilizing trust services from the sectors of finance, insurance, software manufacturers, service integrators, business and legal advisors. Of course, there were also the providers of trust services, in particular electronic signatures, identity providers and integrators of trust services and those involved in electronic identification.
This year’s conference had a specific objective – to answer questions about which tools of electronic identification (eID) and trust services (UZ) have a perspective for development. It was also discussed how to convince the administration, business and millions of regular users to use them on a daily basis, and what business model to adopt. These issues were also covered by the report prepared by Obserwatorium.biz, “BUSINESS WITHOUT PAPER – Commercialization of eID and trust services in Poland and Europe”, which had its premiere during the Forum and whose conclusions were discussed during the debate on the first day of the conference, with the participation of representatives of Asseco Data Systems, business and public administration, the aim of which was to try to indicate the direction in which the market should develop.
The participants of the Forum agreed that each industry must develop its own solutions based on eID and trust services that are optimal for the sector and its clients, as well as the resulting business model that ensures the profitability of their use. Ultimately, it is possible to imagine using blockchain or biometrics technology to support these services, for example in the financial sector, where employees are increasingly being replaced by artificial intelligence systems. Attention was also drawn to the fact that the currently implemented solutions are based on technologies and concepts developed in the last 20 years – in this context, special attention was paid to the new ID card in the form of a card with an electronic layer. Nowadays, the users are more and more frequently using mobile devices such as smartphones, they search for simple and transparent solutions, while paying attention to security and protection of their personal data. The participants of the conference, especially during the debates, emphasized that this trend will continue in the years to come. New services and products that will be able to meet the expectations of users and the technology that will allow to support mobile devices should already be developed today.
The European Forum for Electronic Signature and Trust Services is an excellent platform for the exchange of experience on a not only European scale, indicating also the greatest opportunities and threats on the way to the electronic economy in Poland, Europe and the world. Trust and electronic ID services are at the doorstep of another, very interesting year, which will be summarized at the next, jubilee 20th edition of the European Forum on Electronic Signature in 2020.
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This year’s conference took place in Szczecin on 29-30 May 2019 and the main theme of the meeting was:
The themes of the 19th edition of the conference focused on the topics:
The European Forum for Electronic Signature and Trust Services is an excellent platform for the exchange of experience on a not only European scale, indicating also the greatest opportunities and threats on the way to the electronic economy in Poland, Europe and the world. Trust and electronic ID services are at the doorstep of another, very interesting year, which will be summarized at the next, jubilee 20th edition of the European Forum on Electronic Signature in 2020.KEEP READING
The European Forum on Electronic Signature and Trust Services (EFPE) is one of the largest international conferences dedicated to the issues of trust services, in particular, the electronic signature and broadly understood public key infrastructure (PKI). This unique event is continuously evolving in Europe, providing users with current information on the latest market trends and “networking” in the growing community. Each year, the EFPE brings together international communities representing the areas of science, state and local government, the EU and business, thus becoming a mandatory meeting point on the calendar of these institutions.
This year’s XVIII edition of the conference was held in Szczecin on 6-7 June 2018, of which the main topic was the “Universality of e-identification and trust services in the cloud – a digital market available to everyone”.
The EFPE 2018 was attended by over 140 participants from 16 countries in Europe, Asia and America, namely: Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Iran, Kazakhstan, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, the USA, Hungary, Great Britain and Italy. Among the participants were the representatives of the European Commission, ETSI, the Ministry of Digitalisation of the Republic of Poland, public administration and commercial institutions using trust services (including a broadly represented group of financial institutions), software developers, service integrators, business advisors, as well as providers of trust services, in particular electronic signatures, identity providers and services related to electronic identification.
This year’s conference proved that we on the threshold of a dynamic opening on the domestic and international markets of trust and electronic identification services for broad applications in commercial services (both in the B2C and B2B relations), as well as in public administration, which is developing its services on-line. With the implementation and planned implementation of services based on cloud computing, trust services have “gained popularity” while electronic identification is gradually displacing paper processes carried out in the underground departments of individual entities.
During the conference, a discussion was also held on the opportunities and threats to the development of the digital market in the context of such regulations as eIDAS, GDPR or PSD2. The discussion was dominated by the opinion that properly designed and implemented trust and electronic identification services keep up with changes in the market. The representatives of public administration institutions pointed to the significance of introducing regulations at the national level, which should provide the appropriate framework for the implementation of such solutions as identification nodes or electronic delivery services. During the conference, there were also several presentations by market suppliers precisely presenting concrete how trust services, such as electronic signatures “in the cloud”, may be applied in current business processes offered to end users of the online services market – consumers and entrepreneurs.
The participants and organisers of the XVIII edition of the EFPE agreed that it is a unique moment in the trust services market, and next year’s edition of the Forum should broadly address the needs of new beneficiaries of electronic identification and trust services. They also pointed to the necessity for further close cooperation between the public and private sectors, which may contribute to the universality of application of the tools and services mentioned above.
This year’s conference took place in Szczecin on 6 – 7 June 2018 and the main theme of the meeting was:
The themes of the 18th edition of the conference focused on the topics:
The European Electronic Signature and Trust Services Forum (EFPE 2017) is one of the largest international conferences devoted to the matters of trust services. This year on 6-7 June, the city of Szczecin was the host to the 17th edition of the conference, the main theme of which was “Digital Identification and Mobile e-Services – Security and Accessibility”. This year’s edition of the EFPE 2017 was attended by more than 130 participants from 16 countries of Europe, Asia and the Americas, namely: Azerbaijan, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Spain, Costa Rica, Luxemburg, Moldova, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, United States of America, Ukraine, Uruguay, Great Britain and Italy. There were representatives of numerous prominent institutions, i.a. the European Commission, ETSI, the Polish Ministry of Digitalization, large institutions using trust services (including banks, government offices and agencies), manufacturers of software, equipment and providers of trust services connected with electronic signature and electronic identification.
In addition to the lectures and presentations, a special role during the conference was played by the discussions conducted in a substantive manner during the three discussion panels with the participation of representatives of business, administration and higher education sectors. The following topics were covered during the discussion panels:
This year’s conference has shown that trust services and electronic identification are becoming the tool for executing business objectives for entities from various sectors that have previously had neither the possibilities nor the knowledge that would allow them to take full advantage of their potential. The discussions held during the conference focused on the use of the means of electronic identification, electronic signature, and future delivery services in international exchange, in the public administration sector and in the commercial sector in parallel, with particular focus on the financial sector. As the one that is best prepared for the development of trust services, the financial sector is, in fact, the first stage of implementing the commonly used trust services.
An important provision is the aspect of the interaction of commercial tools in the digital structure of e-administration. Public administration, often emphasizing the development of its own services, such as the Trusted Profile in Poland, is not always able to recognize the benefits coming from synergy with other tools, which, in addition to the elementary functions, provide the users with the comfort of using added content, for instance, insurance, cross-bordering or universality of use.
The aspect that deserves distinction is undoubtedly the fact that public administration in most EU countries has already adopted their information systems to the use of trust services provided in accordance with the standards established by the regulations of eIDAS, which, among others, indicate the need to stop using the cryptographic hash function of SHA-1. It is important because these systems should seamlessly handle e-signatures, electronic stamps and time stamps after the introduced statutory changes, in order to ensure a higher level of security as well as an interoperability and crossbordering of the exchange of documents. In the countries where the pace of implementation of changes and requirements of the eIDAS regulation in public administration is insufficient, it is recommended that a close cooperation of the administration with commercial entities and academic centers is established, which will undoubtedly translate into an increased pace of implementation of changes. At the same time it should be noted that the trust services market is developing at a dynamic pace, meeting the requirements of both the individual countries and the international legislation. The entities operating on the market of trust services see its great potential which is additionally stimulated by the regulations introduced by the PSD2 directive (on payment services) and the RODO regulation (on personal data protection).
Currently, in the area of e-deliveries, it can be seen that there is no functional counterpart to crossborder nodes; however, the construction of such a structure does not necessarily have to be based on the solutions used in the eID areas. The essence of the problem should be sought in the ambiguous vision of the European Commission and the standardization organization concerning the integration of e-deliveries mechanisms in the structure of the European Union.
In the scope of the electronic stamp, in spite of the eIDAS regulations and the services being developed, it should be considered to send a joint message to the representative of public administration for the creation of a unified legislative solution suited to the electronic stamp solutions. Until the relevant regulations are introduced, the market of e-services should react dynamically, and the effects of using the electronic stamp at the level of the Member States can be determined at the level of the domain regulations and individual systems (e.g. registers that could issue electronically stamped declarations). However, to facilitate the rotation of documents with the electronic stamp at an international level, regulations would be needed to make it easier for the party accepting the document to evaluate its actual legal effect.
There is an upward trend in the availability of remote signature services in the global market, including in the European Union. It should be noted, at the same time, that there are legislation and standardization works being developed on the clarification of the guidelines that will become a determinant of the standardization of these services.
During the EFPE 2017 conference, the participants noted that the eID market, in global terms, was in the early stages of development. The eID report that was presented at the conference undoubtedly implies that the construction and development of a coherent system for electronic identification will provide measurable benefits for both the public administration, citizens and the commercial sector, planning the actions directly connected with the digital transformation. It is also necessary to develop catalysts for changes that may contribute to the success of the digital public administration. Making recommendations for the solutions of e-identity in the EU is one of the tasks of the European Commission.
Now is the time to broaden the market’s interest in the benefits of electronic identification services in connection with trust services, which will undoubtedly develop strongly in the coming years. The Participants and the organizers agreed that the EFPE conference is of great significance for spreading practical knowledge, and next year’s edition of this conference should specifically address the needs of new beneficiaries of electronic identification and trust services. Also, a greater cooperation between the public and the private sectors is expected. The effect of the synergy that is possible to achieve should contribute to the dissemination of the broadly defined electronic communication, at the same time making it fully cross-border.
This final document was prepared by international experts and participants during EFPE 2017 in English, Polish and Russian. We ask that politicians and legislators, in their future actions, consider this small contribution of the EFPE in the European and international discussion.KEEP READING
The European Forum on Electronic Signature is the largest international conference in Europe gathering of community professionals related to security, electronic trust services and electronic identification. This year, 16th edition of EFPE with the leading topic being “Electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) – advantages of a single, cross-border digital market”, was held on 9-10 June 2016 in Szczecin (Poland).
EFPE 2016 was attended by over 130 participants from 21 countries. Among them were representatives of European Commission, ETSI, large institutions using trust services (including government offices and agencies), producers of software and/or hardware solutions and trust service providers related to electronic signature and electronic identification.
In addition to lectures, presentations and practical workshops, the special role have played discussions and polemics that have been conducted during two round tables with participation of representatives of government and business. These two round tables were focused on the following topics:
The entry into force of eIDAS Regulation implies a new legal order in the area of trust services, which raises the need to adapt the national law of the Member States to the new conditions. This adaptation applies to those areas where eIDAS Regulation simply requires appropriate regulations in national law (e.g. an indication of the supervisory authority), or those ones where eIDAS Regulation is applied in an incomplete way, or for which the regulation leaves a discretion to the national legal systems. The solutions to be adopted in national legal regulations should undoubtedly have a positive impact on the transparency and consistency of the legal system and should also become more readable for the recipient.
This is particularly important in the context of the main message of eIDAS Regulation, i.e. removing existing barriers to the cross-border use of electronic identification and trust services for secure electronic interaction between citizens, businesses and public authorities, thereby increasing the effectiveness of public and private online services, electronic business and electronic commerce in the European Union.
The above is the reason why this year’s conference comes at a time when eIDAS Regulation issues will be the focused on the problems of a single, cross-border digital market. These problems were discussed by many conference participants and are presented below in the form of recommendations addressed to citizens, businesses and public authorities.
The above challenges can be solved by Member States countries if the governments decide to put priority on this.
This final document has been prepared by international experts and participants (among others by Jon Ølnes, Arno Fiedler, Sławomir Górniak, Sergey Kiryushkin, Yurii Kozlov, Alla Kryzhanovska, Jerzy Pejaś, Marco Scognamiglio, Assel Seifullina, Murat Seisenov, Artur Skrzeczanowski, Richard Wang) during the EFPE 2016. This document has been translated into English, Polish and Russian and presented for acceptance by participants of the conference. We kindly ask policy makers and lawmakers to consider this modest contribution to the European discussion in their future efforts.
D.Sc. Eng. Jerzy Pejaś
Chairman of EFPE 2016 Program Committee
West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin
The European Forum on Electronic Signature (EFPE) is one of largest international conferences in Europe devoted to electronic signatures and PKI. This year, 15th edition of EFPE 2015 with the leading topic being “New legal and technological order in international electronic economy: eIDAS Regulation – from electronic signatures to trust services”, was held on 10-12 June 2015 in Międzyzdroje (Poland).
EFPE 2015 was attended by over 130 participants from 27 countries. Among them were representatives of European Commission, ETSI, large institutions using trust services (including government offices and agencies), producers of software or hardware solutions or trust service providers related to electronic signature and electronic identification.
The eIDAS Regulation on electronic identification and trusted services requires service providers and supervisors bodies to make meaningful efforts to adopt new requirements for solutions and IT systems existing on the market. According to Art. 52 eIDAS Regulation shall be applied (except some cases counted in Art. 52 (2)) from 1 July 2016. Furthermore, a certification-service-provider issuing before 1 July 2016 qualified certificates under Directive 1999/93/EC should submit a conformity assessment report to the national supervisory body not later than 1 July 2017. After this date such a certification-service-provider shall not be considered as qualified trust service provider under eIDAS Regulation. Hence, trust service providers and developers are essentially interested for publishing of implementation acts and standard documents that allow them to adopt existing and new trust services according with the requirements stated there.
Participants to the Conference pointed to the need for a comprehensive approach to implementing legislative changes in national legal framework. eIDAS Regulation requires careful harmonization with national law, while preserving the letter and spirit of Regulation.
Trust services legal effects defined in eIDAS Regulation must be explicit for users regardless of the fact where the EU member come from.
Participants to the Conference pointed out that it is important to identify not only many challenges in implementing eIDAS in certain EU member States, but also to evaluate what is the impact of eIDAS outside the EU. This is important practical problem because there is no common legal ground between the EU and other countries, although legal systems may be similar and trust services can be provided under the same conditions. The participants stressed that at EU level would be good practice to determine the recommendation for implementation of Art. 14 concerning international aspects of electronic identification and trust services recognition that are provided to or by third parties (non-EU Member States).
A large number of dedicated trust services would be too difficult to use for relying parties and will be not compatible with the postulate cited, for example in Preamble (57), which states that the validation of qualified electronic signature should be made easy and convenient for all parties at Union level. For this reason the trust services should be aggregated according to rules prepared by the normalization body (for example ETSI) as a standard on Trusted List (TL).
Public administration that intends to provide trust services to the public should do it on equal and competitive rules with commercial subjects. Participants to the conference reiterate the belief expressed in last years’ conferences that the public administration should increasingly rely on commercial solutions offered by service providers operating on the digital market.
In the internal instruments, it would be also worth recommending to include areas not covered directly by eIDAS regulation, for example trusted services and identification. International aspects of trust services and ID-escrow are examples of such challenges.
This final document has been prepared by international experts and participants during the EFPE 2015. This document has been translated into English, Polish and Russian and presented for acceptance by participants of the conference. We ask policy makers and lawmakers to consider this modest contribution to the European discussion in their future efforts.KEEP READING
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