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Action 8: Revision of the eSignature directive

In 2011 propose a revision of the eSignature Directive with a view to provide a legal framework for cross-border recognition and interoperability of secure eAuthentication systems.

What is the problem? Need secure solutions to protect personal data online

Electronic identity (eID) technologies and authentication services are essential for all kinds of online transactions. Today, log-in usernames and passwords are among the most common online authentication systems. While these systems are adequate for many applications, more secure solutions are increasingly needed to protect personal data online.

Why is EU action needed? To build pan-European security systems

Creating eID systems that work at European level is naturally a very sensitive issue. Close cooperation between EU Member States will be essential. Adopting an acceptable system will require a wide-ranging consultation of both stakeholders and the general public across Europe.

See also: Action 3, Action 16 and Action 63.

What will the Commission do?

In 2010:

  • Set up a formal expert group to assist the Commission in drafting the revised directive.
  • Consult Member States and industry on issues related to eID and prepare a Commission Communication on eID, authentication and signature policy.

In 2011:

  • Consult stakeholders further and prepare an impact assessment for the revised Directive.
  • Give permission to European Standardisation Organisations to develop eID standards that could be used across the EU.
  • Adopt the Communication on a proposal for a revised Directive.

In 2012:

  • Adopt the Directive on eID and standardisation.