What is an electronic signature?
Article 1 sub-article 12 of Law Number 11 of 2008 regarding Electronic Information and Transaction (“EIT Law”) defines electronic signature as a signature that contains electronic information attached to associated or linked with other electronic information used as means of verification and authentication. Further, the law provides that electronic information is a set of electronic data, such as texts, images, arrangement of letters, or symbols that have been processed for meaning and are understandable to persons qualified to understand them.1
Regulation for the implementation of electronic signatures is provided in Government Regulation Number 82 of 2012 regarding Operation of Electronic Systems and Transactions (“GR 82/2012”).
Does an electronic signature have legal power?
It is necessary to first explain that electronic signatures consist of (i) certified electronic signatures and (ii) uncertified electronic signatures.2 Both types of electronic signatures have evidentiary power.
However, in terms of substantiation, an uncertified electronic signature has an imperfect/relatively weak evidentiary value, as uncertified electronic signatures can be denied by the signer concerned. In addition, uncertified electronic signatures is also relatively easy to change or forged by other people.
The case with certified electronic signatures is different. Certified electronic signatures are issued by electronic certification operators verified with an electronic certificate.3 The validity of signer of such electronic signature has been verified by the electronic certification operator, so it has a solid protection and substantiation, as the validity is traceable and verifiable.
Those intending to create electronic signatures may submit an application to the electronic certification operator, among others the Directorate General of Informatics Applications at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, as well as the Financial Services Authority for financial services.
What is the function and purpose of an electronic signature?
In general, electronic signatures are aimed to facilitate users of technology systems. Nowadays, many activities are already conducted electronically using digital systems. An example is the need for approval from an individual for an electronic transaction in an electronic information system and/or on an electronic document.
If we refer to the provision of Article 52 of GR 82/2012, electronic signatures have two purposes:
1. As an authentication and verification of signer’s identity and its integrity; and
2. As an authentication and verification of the authenticity of electronic information.
1. Article 1 sub-article 1 of EIT Law.
2. Article 52 paragraph (1) of GR 82/2012. 3. Article 52 paragraph (2) of GR 82/2012.