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An electronic signature based on PKI technology (Public Key Infrastructure) uses a pair of cryptographic keys to identify communicating partners in the electronic world. "Key pair" is the generic name for a private key, also recognized as data for creating an electronic signature, and a public key, also recognized as data for verifying an electronic signature.
The communicating partner shows his ownership of the key pair and his identity through the use of a relevant certificate. Certificates are issued by a "Certification Authority" (CA), which is an independent trusted entity.

The role of the CA is to verify the identity of the certificate applicant and uniquely tie his identification to data in order to generate an electronic signature through the use of a certificate which the CA issues to the applicant. The issued certificate is subsequently a kind of "electronic identity card" used in communication.

Like with identity cards, the certificates are to have a period of validity, usually one year. Before this period expires, it is possible to electronically apply for a subsequent certificate, providing that there was no change in the data based on which the initial certificate was issued.

In the event that the owner of the certificate has reason to suspect abuse, or if the data used to generate the electronic signature was stolen, he has the option to immediately request revocation of the certificate, just like an ID.

The procedures for providing individual CA services are processed in detail in the Certification Policy document that each Certification Authority publishes.

Certification Authorities usually provide various types of certificates. Certificates designed for everyday communication among commercial entities are referred to as "commercial certificates" and are used to create electronic signatures.

In cases where one wishes to communicate electronically with state or local government, "qualified certificates" are usually required; these are certificates that may be issued only by an accredited certification authority, and their issuance is subject to the requirements of relevant legislation; in the CR this is Act No. 227/2000 Coll. on electronic signatures. A qualified certificate is used to create an advanced electronic signature or a recognized electronic signature.

Requirements of an advanced and recognized electronic signature
Use of advanced and commercial certificates

Registration authorities

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