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The best of both worlds. Linde & sproof.

Juli 20, 2022 by Dr. Fabian Knirsch

Der Traditionsverlag Linde setzt geht eine Partnerschaft mit sproof ein um wichtige Betriebsprozesse zu digitalisieren.

Linde Verlag - a specialist publisher of legal, business and tax literature since 1925 - is entering into a cooperation with sproof, the Salzburg-based expert in the field of digital signatures in Europe. In addition to the introduction of the technology throughout the publishing house within the next few weeks, the cooperation also consists of an investment in the company itself.
"Linde Verlag publishes over 270 new technical and non-fiction books as well as e-books, plus 19 trade journals annually. The sproof solution enables us to sign all contracts, for example with authors, or to process other everyday agreements simply, quickly, securely and in full compliance with the GDPR," says Benjamin Jentzsch, Managing Director and owner of Linde Verlag.

The publishing house is introducing the e-signature solution of the LegalTech start-up sproof across the board and is also announcing an investment.

In addition to the introduction of the technology throughout the publishing house within the next few weeks, the cooperation also consists of an investment in the company itself. In addition, a sales strategy based on partnership is being pursued in order to be able to address joint target groups with combined strength.

vlnr.: Dr. Fabian Knirsch (CTO, sproof), Benjamin Jentzsch (CEFrom left: Dr Fabian Knirsch (CTO, sproof), Benjamin Jentzsch (CEO, Linde Verlag), Dr Clemens Brunner (CEO, sproof) Verlag), Dr. Clemens Brunner (CEO, sproof)

At sproof, too, there is enthusiasm about the cooperation with Linde: "Due to their binding nature, digital signature solutions require a high degree of responsibility on the part of the user on the one hand, but also on the part of the manufacturer on the other. It is a very special honour that we were able to convince Linde Verlag, as a traditional specialist publisher of legal, business and tax literature, of sproof and win their trust," says Fabian Knirsch, founder and CTO of sproof.

Legal validity and data protection in the foreground

The requirements that digital signatures must fulfil are regulated in the European Union within the framework of the eIDAS Regulation. In addition to the requirements and the implementation of these, the legal status is also regulated in this regulation. Data protection also plays a special role, as it is not necessarily a matter of course that a provider of digital signatures works in a GDPR-compliant manner.
"Basically, there are different ways to sign digitally: simple, advanced and qualified. Despite the digital signatures looking the same on the final document, the status of the respective type of digital signature and its binding nature are different," adds Fabian Knirsch from sproof. Only the so-called Qualified Electronic Signatures, or QES, are legally equivalent to handwritten signatures. In Austria, this is stipulated in §4 para. 1 of the Signature Act.
In terms of data protection, the legal requirements in terms of the GDPR must also be fulfilled on the one hand, and on the other hand, certain security requirements must also be guaranteed by the IT structure. "The data is stored and processed exclusively in data centres within the European Union. Any reference to the USA is avoided, as this would not be GDPR-compliant," concludes Fabian Knirsch.

About the author
Co-Founder at sproof
Fabian Knirsch is co-founder and CTO of sproof GmbH. He completed his doctorate in computer science at the University of Salzburg in 2018 and worked on the topics of security and privacy in research. He was then a UAS professor at the UAS Salzburg until 2022. Fabian is a self-confessed "IT security enthusiast" and is burning for the common mission to offer the central platform and interface for digital signing in Europe.

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