Both qualified (or regulated) electronic seals and advanced electronic seals are concepts derived from eIDAS regulation in the European Union and the ZertES law in Switzerland, both of which standardise electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions. Here is a brief distinction between the two types of electronic seals:
Advanced electronic seals are:
- Uniquely linked to the creator of the seal.
- Capable of identifying the creator.
- Created using data that the creator can maintain with a high level of confidence under their sole control.
- Linked to the data to which they are attached in such a way that any subsequent change in the data is detectable.
- Officially recognised by the EU regulation eIDAS, but are not defined in the Swiss Federal law ZertES.
Qualified electronic seals have all the characteristics of advanced electronic seals but come with further layers of security and assurance, as they are:
- Based on a qualified certificate for electronic seals, issued by a qualified trust service provider.
- Officially recognised by both Swiss (ZertES) and EU (eIDAS) regulations.
The main distinction is the level of security, assurance, and the legal effect attached. A qualified electronic seal meets stricter requirements and provides stronger legal evidence.