News Local Electronic Signature proposal finalised, to be presented to Cabinet tomorrow

Electronic Signature proposal finalised, to be presented to Cabinet tomorrow

The Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy will present tomorrow to the Council of Ministers one of the greatest reforms for the way Cypriots transact with the public and wider public sectors as well as the private sector, philenews reports.

Deputy Minister of Research Kyriacos Kokkinos told philenews that the Electronic Signature will “massively change” the nature of our transactions, albeit it will take some time for businesses and citizens to adopt it.

The same spoke to CNA explaining that the Electronic Signature will be made possible via verified providers of trust services, one of which is JCC.

“The legislation for the electronic signature is there, as it was completed in 2018. We have finished all technical preparations required and we are about to announce it,” Kokkinos said.

The electronic signature is part of the electronic identity, he explained, explaining that there is a second part in the process that entails electronic identification. With electronic identification, a person can prove her identity electronically, without the need for physical presence, he said.

In order for someone to be able to use the electronic signature, identification needs to have preceded it, he continued, but the legislation for the identification is not yet ready.

To obtain an electronic signature, Kokkinos said, “they will be provided with identification only once, in order to obtain the ‘key’ to the electronic signature.”

The identification can be obtained through an individual’s bank, he further explained, as long as he is a user of an electronic banking service (e-banking), or they can apply directly with JCC.

In the first case, the customer has already been identified and the bank will be responsible for processing the electronic ‘key’ required for the electronic signature through JCC, he said, adding that more than 60% of Cypriot citizens have access to e-banking, thus most will be able to apply through their bank.

Responding to a question, Kokkinos said that discussions on these issues normally last more than 10 years.

“The state has been dealing with the technical part for five years now, aiming for implementation in 2021. The urgency of Coronavirus has prompted us to think differently so we decided to proceed with the first stage of implementation,” he concluded.

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