Making Cloud-Based Digital Signatures Ubiquitous in 2019 with the Cloud Signature Consortium

by John Jolliffe

posted on 02-06-2019

Since Adobe launched the Cloud Signature Consortium, made up of leading industry and academic organizations committed to building a new open standard for digital signatures in 2016, we’ve made quite a bit of headway.

In the last 18 months, we’ve seen the consortium double in size, be incorporated as a not-for-profit association, and we can now count all the world’s largest trust service providers as members.

Businesses and governments are facing pressure to go paperless and drive digital transformation in order to deliver stellar digital experiences that stand out from the competition and make life easier.

Providing experiences that are digital from start to finish, are secure, device agnostic and are truly scalable is a major challenge that Adobe is committed to addressing.

The good news is that law makers are also working to support digital transformation. In 2016, the eIDAS Regulation in Europe gave legal standing to cloud-based digital signatures, and US-based organizations doing business in their home country have the ESIGN Act to protect digitally-signed agreements.

When the fast pace of digital transformation, and the evolving regulatory context are combined together, the result is the creation of the urgent need for the kind of interoperable technology standard for digital signatures which the CSC has developed.

Transforming the global industry standard

The open standards-based approach gives organizations that wish to use cloud signatures as part of their digital transformation the freedom to choose from a growing list of Trust Service Providers natively within Adobe Sign. So now users can sign with the most secure kind of digital signatures easily and on the go, while complying with local laws or regulations governing their specific country or industry.

And of course Adobe Sign users and businesses can still work with the world’s most trusted digital IDs today from the European Union Trust List (EUTL) and Adobe Approved Trust List (AATL)

What’s Next

2019 promises to be a year of growth and consolidation for the CSC. With Version 1 of the cloud signature API specification now published, expect to see the number of companies that implement the specification into real products grow significantly.

We’re also expecting membership in the CSC to rise as well – both to help shape future iterations of the standard, and to contribute to the technical work that will define APIs for other trust services.

Since Adobe first led industry-wide efforts to turn PDF into an open standard, we remain committed to that promise with cloud-based digital signatures. We know that success depends on both technical depth and industry alignment, and the CSC will work closely with standards bodies across the world to make the cloud-based digital signature as commonplace as PDFs.

Topics: Industry, Financial Services, Government, News,  Forms and electronic signatures for government

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