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Types of Electronic Signature (Incl. Indonesia Jurisdiction) – SES, AdES, QES

Published 24 April 2024
Types of Electronic Signature (Incl. Indonesia Jurisdiction) - SES, AdES, QES
Types of Electronic Signature (Incl. Indonesia Jurisdiction) – SES, AdES, QES

Gone are the days when you had to print a document, sign it by hand, and scan or physically deliver it. Electronic signatures (or e-signatures) are changing the way we do business and streamline the process of signing important documents.

Electronic signatures are not only convenient but offer varying levels of security for different needs. But what are these types, and which one will make your document legally binding in Indonesia?

Table of Contents

Types of electronic signature

Here’s a breakdown of the main types of electronic signatures:

1. Basic or Simple

The first type, the Basic Electronic Signature (BES) also known as Simple Electronic Signature (SES), is the most basic and easiest to use. It’s like signing a piece of paper with just your name. Think of typing your name at the end of an email or clicking an “I Agree” checkbox on a website – that’s BES.

While convenient, it doesn’t really prove for sure who signed it and may not hold up in court if the signer’s identity is challenged. This is okay for low-risk situations where identity verification isn’t super critical.

2. Advanced

Advanced Electronic Signatures (AdES) are a step up. Imagine BES with an ID check. When you use an AdES, a trusted service (like a company that verifies IDs) confirms it’s really you signing the document.

This is achieved through a digital certificate issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) that verifies you before granting the certificate. When you sign with an AdES, your signature is linked to the certificate, providing stronger assurance of your identity.

This is a good option for things like tax forms or contracts where it’s important to know who signed what.

3. Qualified

Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) is the most secure signature. It builds upon AdES with even stricter regulations and oversight. Think of it as needing a special key from a highly trusted source (Qualified Trust Service Provider) to create your signature, often using secure hardware or software tools.

It’s like having a bank vault to store your signature key! This extra layer of security makes QES the most secure and legally recognized type, perfect for high-value documents like real estate contracts or sensitive government documents.

Also Read: What is Electronic Signature – A Comprehensive Overview

What kind of electronic signature is legally binding in Indonesia?

Indonesia has laws in place to make sure e-signatures are recognized and can hold up in court. The two main ones are:

  • Electronic Information and Transaction Act No. 11 of 2008 (UU ITE): This is the big kahuna of e-signature law. It sets out the basic idea that e-signatures can be just as valid as signing a paper document.
  • Government Regulation No. 71 of 2019 (PP No. 71 2019): This regulation builds upon the foundation of Act 91, providing specific guidelines about the different types of e-signatures recognized in Indonesia. It outlines security requirements for each type, making it clear how they would hold up in court.

The following are the types of e-signatures recognized by Indonesian Law:

1. Uncertified electronic signatures

Think of uncertified electronic signatures as the most basic option. They offer minimal proof that you signed the document. This makes them easier to forge or deny, so even though they’re legally recognized in Indonesia, they might not hold up well in a court dispute.

It would be your responsibility to prove you signed the document. Because of this, these are best for situations where security is a low priority, like confirming you got an email or agreeing to simple online terms.

2. Certified electronic signatures

Certified electronic signatures utilize cryptographic techniques and digital certificates issued by trusted Certificate Authorities (CAs) or known as Penyelenggara Sertifikasi Elektronik (PSrE) like Mekari Sign to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of the signature.

These signatures meet the highest security standards as Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES) according to Government Regulation No. 71 of 2019 (PP 2019). Referred to as “Certified Electronic Signatures” within this regulation, they hold the same legal weight as handwritten signatures in a court of law.

Consequently, certified electronic signatures are well-suited for high-stakes transactions and confidential documents that demand robust non-repudiation and legal enforceability, such as financial transactions, contracts, and government documents.

Read More: A Complete Guide to What is Certified Digital Signature

Key differences between non-certified and certified electronic signatures:

Feature Uncertified electronic signatures Certified electronic signatures
Security Level Low High
Verification Method Minimal Strong (digital certificates, CAs)
Legal Recognition Legally valid, but weaker weight in court Equivalent to handwritten signatures
Use Cases Low-risk scenarios High-risk transactions, sensitive documents

Understanding the different types of e-signatures and their legal implications is crucial for selecting the appropriate solution based on the specific needs and risk profile of a transaction or document. For high-value and sensitive documents, the certified electronic signature is the recommended choice due to its superior security features and legal standing in Indonesia.

Mekari Sign delivers the security you need. As a trusted PSrE registered with KOMINFO, we offer Certified Electronic Signatures that protect your documents and make signing them worry-free. Ready to ditch the hassle and streamline your workflow? Try Mekari Sign today!

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