With the transition of the information and document management in the physical environment to the electronic environment, there has been a need for the verification of the information and documents in the electronic environment. In this context, the Electronic Signature Law (“the Law”) numbered 5070 has entered into force as of 23 July 2004 in order to provide security regarding transactions in the electronic environment.
As a reflection of the digital transformation experienced within legal entities due to the pandemic conditions, the Law was amended. The amendments made to the Law, pursuant to The Law on Technology Development Zones and Amendments to Certain Laws published in the Official Gazette numbered 31384 and dated 3 February 2021 are as follows:
1- The following paragraph has been added to Article 10 of the Law:
“Electronic certification service provider may securely and remotely install the qualified certificate to the identification card if the service provider could remotely and securely confirm the identity card information of the people who are given qualified certificate via Republic of Turkey identity card.”
- With the amendment, it will be possible to carry out certification processes without physically gathering or needing a physical document.
2- ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 1 titled “Electronic Stamp” has been added:
“ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 1
An electronic stamp is electronic data attached to other electronic data or linked logically to electronic data and used to verify the stamp owner’s information.
The owner of the electronic stamp is the public institutions and organizations, public administrations, public professional organizations and higher organizations, public and private legal entities, judicial authorities and notaries that create the electronic stamp.
An electronic stamp is the evidence record that the electronic document or data was created by the stamp owner and guarantees the origin and integrity of the document or data.
The electronic stamp has the same legal status as any physical stamp, including the official stamp.
Without the consent or request of the stamp owner for the purpose of creating an electronic stamp; those who obtain, export, copy and recreate stamp creation data or stamp creation tools and those who create electronic stamps using unauthorized stamp creation tools are punished with imprisonment from one to three years and a judicial fine of not less than fifty days. In case the offense is committed by employees of electronic certificate service providers, these penalties are increased up to half.
The provisions on electronic signature regulated under laws shall also be applied to electronic stamps by analogy.
The rights, powers, and obligations of electronic certificate service providers regarding the electronic signature specified in the laws are also applied to the electronic stamp. Administrative fines specified in Article 18 shall be imposed on electronic certificate service providers who act contrary to these obligations. “
With the amendment, public institutions and organizations, public administrations, public professional organizations and higher organizations, public and private law legal entities, judicial authorities and notaries shall be able to use electronic stamps. However, those who create a stamp without the consent or request of the stamp owner or who use electronic stamp means may be imprisoned from one to three years or be subject to a judicial fine of not less than fifty days.
3- ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 2 titled “Website authentication certificate and other electronic certificates” has been added:
“ADDITIONAL ARTICLE 2
Website authentication certificate is an electronic record that connects a website with the information of the real or legal person who owns this site.
Other electronic certificates using similar infrastructure are certificates issued by electronic certificate service providers through public key infrastructure to be used for purposes such as encrypting electronic data or determining the integrity, undeniability and source of data.
The provisions on electronic signature regulated under the laws shall also be applied to the website authentication certificate and other electronic certificates using similar infrastructure by analogy.
The rights, powers, and obligations of electronic certificate service providers regarding electronic signature under the laws are also applied to the website authentication certificate and other electronic certificates using similar infrastructure. Administrative fines specified in Article 18 shall be imposed on electronic certificate service providers who act contrary to these obligations. “
With the website verification certificate, an important step has been taken to ensure information security on the internet. It may be possible to see its reflections on data and information security, especially in terms of data-intensive financial and e-commerce sites.
Provisions in the legislation on electronic signature shall be applied to electronic stamps, website authentication certificates and other electronic certificates by analogy.
As a result of the digitalization that intensified with the pandemic, the change in the name of providing the remote management of information and documents can be considered as a positive development.
You may reach the full Turkish version of the Law via the link below: