Role of Digital Signature Throughout the Work-From-Home Era
Updated: Aug 31
It has been more than four months since the announcement of the first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia and almost three months since the implementation of the PSBB in all regions of Indonesia. A lot of changes have taken place, such as norms, regulations, and habits, as a form of adjustment of activities during this pandemic. There is no exception to the adjustment in the way of work, from starting work from home, doing online activities, as well as using other digital technologies to ease the workload at most of the time like this.
Talking about digital technology, in addition to using applications for virtual meetings, a digital signature is also one of the technologies that currently draw people’s attention. Digital signature is a practical choice for many people because the current situation does not allow us to have a physical meeting, let alone to simply ask for a wet signature. The changes in habit of meeting people from directly to virtually, hardcopy to softcopy, and starting to work remotely, create a high demand for digital signature itself.
The Legality of Digital Signature
In Indonesia, digital signature was first regulated under the Law No. 11 of 2008 on Electronic Information and Transactions as amended by Law No. 19 of 2016 ("UU ITE"). The UU ITE states that digital signature is a signature consisting of Electronic Information attached, associated or related to other Electronic Information used as a verification and authentication tool. The UU ITE also mentions that the force of proof of the electronic document signed with a digital signature is the same as the force of proof of an authentic act of the authority. The issuance of UU ITE also encourages the growth of companies engaged in the service of providing digital signatures.
Other than UU ITE, digital signature is also regulated in Government Regulation No. 82 of 2012 on the Implementation of Electronic Transactions and Systems (“PP PSTE”).
The Use of Digital Signature during COVID-19
Before the spread of COVID-19, digital signature was used by a limited circle only, usually private companies and most likely to be used internally. This is not only because it is difficult to adapt the habit, but also because the digital signature is still contrary to the provisions under the Law No. 30 of 2004 on the Function of Notary ("UUJN"), which states that the notarial act is an authentic act drawn up by or before a Notary according to the form and procedure stipulated in this Law. This also the case in the trial court sector, even though during the pandemic period e-litigation through e-court has increasingly been implemented, yet the Indonesian Supreme Court has not issue the regulations regarding the application of this digital signature in the court.
However, during this pandemic, 224 institutions reported using digital signature to enter into cooperation agreements with the third parties. A total of 55 of them are central government agencies and State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), while 169 others come from local government agencies, universities and district courts. As of 14 May 2020, at least nine Cooperation Agreements have been concluded online with various government institutions, including the four agreements signed by PT Angkasa Pura Support, Jepara Regency Government, South Bengkulu Regency Government, and Pakpak Bharat Regency Government.
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