As the pandemy continues, digital signature has become more popular and commonly used by the public as a means for document authorization or verification. As there’s a shift in public need toward the digital landscape, digital signature and stamps are predicted to be widely used, dethroning the usage of written signature on daily usage. Even now more digital services such as Fintech, digital bank, telecommunication and more require digital signatures accompanied by identity verification in order for the service user to be able to do transactions safely, comfortably and most importantly protecting them from fraud. That is why digital signatures with high security standards are one way for Indonesia's digital economy to grow.
But, before you start to use digital signatures, it is important for you to understand how to use digital signatures so you won’t be misguided when using them. In the spirit of Cyber Security month that is celebrated by the global community, here is 5 things you should know about digital signatures:
1. Digital signatures are not scanned signatures
When you hear about digital signatures, the first thing that comes to your mind is the method of writing your signature on a piece of paper, scanning it and creating a file from it.
Digital signature is a signature consisting of encrypted digital information in a form of digital certificate used as verification and authentication tool. In Indonesia or even around the world, legitimate digital signatures use cryptography security mechanisms and are issued by Certificate Authority (CA) or in a more Indonesian term Penyelenggara Sertifikat Elektronik (PSrE). CA is an entity which is listed under government regulations and certified to issue digital certificates that lead to digital signatures to be recognized and binding under Indonesian law. Digital signatures that are issued by CA entities owned and used only by a user whose identity has been verified by CA issuer and can’t be used or transferred to a different party because to use digital signature authentication is needed.
VIDA or PT Indonesia Digital Identity as an CA entity voiced their view. “As 2008 UU ITE was ratified, digital signatures have been introduced to Indonesia's digital ecosystem. But, secure and easy to use digital signature access is limited and hard to be understood by the public. Which leads to scanned signatures that is easier becoming the preference of the public, but using scanned signatures has a higher risk of being a victim of identity fraud. Nowadays, with various innovations by CA like VIDA that provide digital signatures equipped with identity verification that is instant and easy to use, more people and business stakeholders are able to start using digital signatures to grow their business faster and more efficiently using only one app.” said Sati Rasuanto, Co-Founder and CEO of VIDA.
2. Certified digital signatures are valid and have the same legal power
Law No. 11/2008 on Electronic Information and Transaction (UU ITE) not only regulates that digital information, digital document and print media are valid legal evidence and have the equal standing in court, but it also regulates digital signature implementation. In chapter 11 UU ITE, it is stated that digital signatures have the same legal power and legitimate legal consequences as long as they follow the requirements set by the government. So, you don’t need to worry that digital signatures will weaken your documents. Same thing with normal signatures, documents with digital signatures are able to be evidence in the court.
Digital signatures are also supported by the existence of devaritive regulation by Indonesia ministry of communication and information (Kominfo), that recognize numbers of digital signature providers as a reference for you to choose a safe and trusted service provider. Public could also check other references like Adobe Trusted List that listed Indonesian CA that are globally recognized.
3. Digital signature is safer and harder to forged
Signature is a symbol or a mark that was given as a form of an official document validation. Therefore the safety and authenticity of the document needs to be preserved. With digital signature, a document authenticity that is signed by a verified user, secured and encrypted by cryptography technology that is unique to you alone is guaranteed will not be able to be counterfeited or used by unauthorized individuals.
Sati added “CA like VIDA present digital signatures that are also equipped with a digital identity verification process using biometric technology, facial recognition, and liveness detection with globally recognized standards. Not only that, in the identity verification process, we compare user biometric with population data owned by Indonesia’s General Directorate of Population and Civil Registry of the Ministry of Home Affair. This is important, considering that biometric identity such as fingerprint or face are a very personal identity that is hard to forge with liveness detection technology, but at the same time it needs to refer toward the official single identity reserve in Indonesia.”
Furthermore, by using digital signatures, you are able to view the document integrity. Which means that you are able to monitor any changes in the document you have signed and ensure that the document matches the contents when you first signed it.
4. Digital signature is more cost and time efficient
Let us imagine this scenario: you are working from home and you hold a lot of documents that need to be signed by your boss. Visiting your boss' house or sending the document via logistic service will only waste your time and cost, using digital signatures will help you to save your time and cost. “With internet access from your smartphone, you are able to receive signatures from wherever you are in under 2 seconds. For the general public it may look trivial, but for business owners, the difference in minutes even in seconds by using digital signatures in huge numbers will be significant at suppressing company expenses,” added Sati.
5. Choose a digital signature provider that is trusted and regulated by the government
Remember not to be careless at choosing your digital signature provider. Choose an entity that has been regulated by the government and has a good and tested track record. With that in mind your personal data safety is guaranteed and you can use your digital signature with no worries and safer. In Indonesia, there’s only a few digital signature providers or CAs that are recognized by Kominfo and can be your choice of provider. The information can be accessed on Kominfo official website: https://tte.kominfo.go.id/. Even from those providers listed, there’s only a few providers that obtained their “Rooted CA” status or having the highest legal evidence, of which VIDA is one of them.
In an era where everything has been digitized, do not hesitate to use digital signatures as a trusted partner in your personal matters as well as a way to grow your business in a faster and more efficient way. However don’t be negligent at using and choosing your service provider so you can stay safe and comfortable at handling or authorizing your document in this digital world.