Digital Signatures – Security, integrity and authenticity

Establishing a company in Brazil depends on a process that involves federal, state and municipal agencies and entities. Integrador Estadual VRE|REDESIM (State Integrator) is the system in São Paulo that gathers data from locational feasibility, registrations, and licensing of companies. With this system information is exchanged between those responsible for the registration process and the legalization of all companies in the state.

As a result of the pandemic, many of the services that were performed in person were made available online by the Board of Trade in the State of São Paul (Jucesp). However, the change has raised many doubts, especially among lawyers, about the security of documents and the validity of signatures on the website.

The government enacted Law 14,063 in 2020 which addresses the use of electronic signatures in interactions with public entities. There are two issues in this change: the paradigm shift regarding the replacement of physical signatures by electronic signatures, and the difference of the signature that has a digital certificate issued by a Certificate Authority (CA) accredited in The Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure (ICP-Brazil).

What is the difference between these two types of signatures?
According to Art. 3 of Law 14,063 of 2020:

I – Authentication is an electronic process that allows the electronic identification of a natural person or an entity;

II – Electronic signature occurs when the data of the holder is interconnected or, logically, associated with other data in electronic format, being used by the signatory to sign or prove the veracity of something;

III – Digital Certificate is an electronic certificate that associates the validation data and proof of veracity of the electronic signatures of a natural person or legal entity;

IV – ICP-Brasil Digital Certificate is the document issued by a Certificate Authority that validates the veracity of a signature, through accreditation in the Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure.

Jucesp defines Digital Signature as an electronic signature validated by a digital certificate. It is possible to electronically sign all documents for the opening and termination of Sole Proprietorship (EI), Single Holder Limited Liability (EIRELI) and Limited Liability Companies (LTDA) companies. According to the agency, this signature guarantees the integrity, authenticity and irreversibility (as it helps to prove to all parties the origin of the signed content) of the Registration Forms and Certificates.

It is very important to choose Certificate Authorities with international coverage for legal representation processes. Globalsign and Certisign are good examples. This guarantees signature validity in the country of origin of the entrepreneurs who are establishing their businesses in Brazil. Analyzing the CA users also gives security to those who need to find a company validated by ICP-Brasil.

Digital signatures can be generated by different tools and validated on the Conformity Assesment of the Information Technology Institute (ITI)You guarantee quick access to the document and may limit its validity.

ITI participated in the Ninth edition of the 2020 RNP Forum, “The new horizon for digital certificates in Brazil.” Brazil needs to reduce costs, fraud and bureaucracy. The process also involves a change in culture. Pryor works for these changes and acts as an agent for them to happen.

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