07/11/2018 (Updated on: 25/01/2019)

The digital transformation of businesses entails an evolution towards paperless models in all senses, both in the transmission of documents and in archiving.

Demand for long-term secure electronic archiving is growing. EDICOM, as a qualified trust service provider, and thanks to the qualified service certificate obtained for qualified e-seal preservation, is able to preserve archived documents and files.

It also gives documents probative value. An electronic signature gives a data retention system integrity and authenticity guarantees. Integrity certifies the non-alteration of documents during safekeeping, while authenticity identifies the individual or corporation as the author of the document.

We answer some of the most frequently asked questions that can arise in relation to long-term electronic archiving and the EDICOMLta platform.


How does a long-term electronic archiving solution differ from a cloud-based file housing system (Dropbox, Google Drive)?

A cloud-based file housing system should not be confused with a long-term certificate archiving system. A long-term electronic archiving system manages document batches, indexes them and keeps them for a long time in the same way a simple file archiving service could. The big difference is the integrity and authenticity guarantee showing that the data is not modified throughout that time and giving documents probative value before third parties.

That’s why a long-term electronic archiving system responds to a data retention logic under a number of technical criteria regulated by laws applicable across all EU member states.


Why should I use a qualified trust service provider to preserve my documents?

A qualified trust service provider certified under the eIDAS Regulation guarantees, with the application of the qualified e-seal qualified preservation service, that the integrity and authenticity of archived documents are respected over time and awards documents burden of proof before third parties.

The eIDAS Regulation ensures that: “A qualified preservation service for qualified electronic signatures may only be provided by a qualified trust service provider that uses procedures and technologies capable of extending the trustworthiness of the qualified electronic signature beyond the technological validity period”.

EDICOM is a qualified trust service provider certified for the following services:

  • Qualified e-signature certificate
  • Qualified e-seal certificate
  • Qualified e-seal qualified preservation
  • Qualified time seal


What does a “qualified preservation of qualified e-seal” trust service involve?

This trust service is obtained via the XAdES-LT (ISO 14641) electronic signature thanks to the use of the qualified time seal. This extends the technological trustworthiness of the electronic signature. Thanks to this trust service, EDICOMLTA offers a long-term archiving service in accordance with the European regulation.

What international regulations is the EDICOMLta platform designed under?

It is advisable to have a archiving system designed under international and local data security and processing regulations that guarantee data validity before any legal or third-party demand.

EDICOMLta is designed on the basis of the ISO 14641 electronic archiving standard. This standard details the specifications for the design and operation of an information system for the preservation of digital information.


Does the platform adapt to national electronic archiving laws?

Currently in Europe and for certain countries like Italy there are national regulations still in place regulating matters including electronic document archiving.

EDICOMLta presently offers legal guarantees at different levels and across different spheres:

  • Secure archiving according to the ISO 14641 standard at the international level.
  • Qualified archiving service in line with the eIDAS Regulation in Europe.
  • Conservazione Elettronica in Italy.


Does EDICOM comply with GDPR requirements?

EDICOM can provide a company with an online archiving service that will comply fully with GDPR requirements, available in the cloud and accessible at a global level. With the EDICOMLta solution, companies can kepp and protect customer databases or any other type of personal information contained in agreements, pay slips, multimedia files, invoices, and more.

Businesses with offices in Europe but customers and users in the EU whose data travel to be processed and archived in servers outside of the Union must either have an agreement under a European privacy seal or store data in GDPR-compliant solutions like EDICOMLta.


Do files archived in EDICOMLta have legal validity in a process?

Yes. Indeed, submitting a complete archive of evidence in a trial is essential to proving document validity. In the case of a dispute requiring the supply of documents to affected third parties, a long-term electronic data archiving solution provides a monitored register of the events and actions performed on the documents. For each preserved document it issues a test file containing the document, its time seal and electronic signature.


What is probative value and how is it awarded to documents?

It is the value of proof that electronic archiving confers upon an electronic document. It guarantees that the document is archived in its original format throughout its legal period, maintaining the integrity and inalterability of the document and being able to demonstrate this through permanent document audits.

EDICOMLta gives documents the reversal of the burden of proof. In other words, before a judicial process, the archiving method obtains a presumption of trustworthiness from using qualified trust services, meaning that the opposing party must prove that the document is not complete or reliable.

Through the EDICOMLta (Long term archiving) service, companies can ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data which acquire probative value thanks to the certification process to which they are subject. The service applies the qualified trust methods of electronic signatures, seals, and time stamps provided for under the eIDAS regulation.


How can I demonstrate that a file has not been changed over time?

EDICOMLta implements a number of control mechanisms through computer evidence built in line with the ISO 14641 standard which archive information on who performed what action on the document and when. Evidence is gathered throughout the document archiving period according to the events that take place in this time. Additionally, and following ISO14641 standard specifications, a body of evidence associated with the document will be created at a system level to log data such as, for example, the browser, version or IP address from where a document was uploaded.

The evidence, together with other information, will conform the audit or legal proof to guarantee document integrity and authenticity.


How long, as a maximum, does a document maintain its integrity?

For as long as necessary. EDICOMLta archiving adapts to user needs, maintaining document integrity at all times thanks to the security levels added to the document file over time.


What security does the platform have?

The platform is housed in EDICOM servers which have been TIER II certified, accrediting redundant infrastructures and analyzing system design, structure, performance, reliability, and reversal.