DigiCert QuoVadis

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QuoVadis Becomes First Certificate Authority Authorised by Bermuda Government
5 Apr 2002

QuoVadis Limited has been recognized by the Government of Bermuda as the island’s first authorised Certification Service Provider (CSP). This means that QuoVadis customers can use digital certificates to conduct fully enforceable electronic transactions under Bermuda law.

Founded in 1999, QuoVadis provides online identity and digital signature solutions to offshore-based organizations, as well as to their global networks of clients, employees, and business partners.

QuoVadis’ clients include many of the key names from Bermuda’s insurance sector, including RenRe, AXIS Specialty, and Zurich Financial Services. QuoVadis also provides online identity services for Bermuda’s own evolving e-government programme.

Minister of Telecommunications and e-Commerce The Hon. Renee Webb said, “Today, nearly every business has become an e-business with the widespread use of technology to bring companies closer to their customers, whether in Bermuda and overseas. For all users to responsibly conduct their business online, they must ensure that each electronic transaction is legally binding and enforceable.”

“The Bermuda Government is committed to setting world-class standards for dependable electronic business. By using an authorised CSP like QuoVadis, both businesses and citizens will enjoy greater privacy and accountability as they work online,” continued Minister Webb.

The CSP regulations – which include a stringent code of practice and security guidelines - were recently formalized with input from both the private sector and regulators from other countries. Ernst & Young’s Technology and Security Risk Services practice assisted the Government in evaluating the QuoVadis application.

According to Stephen Davidson, VP of QuoVadis, “Bermuda generates a massive volume of courier packages, as our companies conduct routine business with their clients around the world. QuoVadis’ mission is to help Bermuda organizations securely move these operations online, reducing costs and improving customer service without sacrificing usability or legal enforceability.”

In the real world, individuals use a passport or ID card to identify themselves in a transaction. Online, a sender can provide that same strong identification using a QuoVadis digital certificate. The sender can also create legally binding digital signatures on e-mails or Web-based forms. The recipient can later validate the sender’s identity with QuoVadis, and be confidant that the message has not been altered. The process enables legal enforceability of electronically signed documents.

“QuoVadis congratulates the Ministry and e-commerce advisor Nigel Hickson for having the vision to introduce the CSP scheme, which reinforces Bermuda’s attractiveness as a home for international business and clarifies the path forward for enforceable e-commerce,” continued Mr. Davidson.

Why use an Authorised CSP?

Traditional laws reflect the use of paper documents and often require transactions to be “in writing” and “signed.” This has been seen as a hindrance to the development of Internet use by both governments and business. Bermuda’s Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) states how electronic transactions and signatures can satisfy legal requirements for enforceability in the jurisdiction. While the ETA recognizes that electronic signatures are legally binding, users may have to prove that the signature is valid unless it was created using an “accredited certificate” issued by an “authorised certification service provider” or CSP. Signatures from accredited certificates are automatically deemed as enforceable.