Trust service means an electronic service that helps various parties make binding decisions.
A simple example is a service provision contract (such as ordering waste removal, choosing a mobile package or buying a washing machine online), which is entered into between the provider and the user of a service. The contract will become effective, i.e. legally binding for both parties, only if it is signed*. This in turn means that it must be possible for the parties to give their signatures in a manner that complies with all requirements and to verify the validity of the signatures. This – the part of guaranteeing the trust between the transaction parties – is provided by trust service providers. In the given example, verifying and creating the digital signature as such would be the responsibility of the trust service.
*All activities that require a signature certificate are deemed signing, incl. confirmation of bank transfers and selections made in e-environments for which you must enter PIN2.
Trust services may only be provided by qualified service providers that comply with requirements and are registered in the list of trust service providers. The exact requirements and conditions of each trust service and the aspects of signing and stamping are determined by the eIDAS.
In the European Union, trust services also include the issuance of personal certificates and lifecycle management, provision of timestamping services, verification of e-signatures, preservation of e-signatures, e-data exchange and the issuance of web server certificates.
The acronym TSP is often used for trust service providers. The trust service providers certified by the eIDAS have the right to provide trust services in all European Union states.
Trust services and their providers in Estonia:
There are two trust service providers in Estonia at present:
- SK ID Solutions AS, former name AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus (eID and timestamp)
- GuardTime AS (timestamp).
The provided trust services include, among others:
- the timestamping service
- signature service (Digidoc Service)
- authentication services
- validity confirmation service
- What is the eIDAS Regulation?
- Information of the Information System Authority on trust services.
- The Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions Act (EUTS) effective in Estonia.
- Information on trust service providers on Wikipedia Trust Service Providers.