what-is-technological-neutrality

What is technological neutrality?

All products and services should be available to most users, regardless of the platform, operating system or mobile device used. We tell you why the principle of technological neutrality in the sector is so important and how it affects users if this principle is not fulfilled.

Today technology development has provoked a series of debates and concepts that must be addressed sooner or later. Technological neutrality is one of them. This idea does not have an official definition, so we will use the most extended one.

Technological neutrality, as defined by Wikipedia, is “the freedom of individuals and organizations to choose the most appropriate technology adequate to their needs and requirements for development, acquisition, use or commercialization, without knowledge dependencies involved as information or data”

The technological neutrality principle is not a theory that some people bet, but has already been used at the official level by the European Union, setting a precedent in the legislative field.

In 1999, the European Commission used for the first time the principle of technological neutrality as a regulatory principle in an official document on the revision of the regulatory framework for electronic communications. It is obvious that the struggle for technological neutrality is not a recent and passing issue, but a necessity for the correct development of innovation. The principle consolidation of technological neutrality occurred with Directive 2009/140/EC, which modified previous executives.

A couple of years later, in November 2011 the European Parliament approved the resolution of November 17, 2011 on the open internet and the neutrality net in Europe. This resolution was a wake-up call for the European institutions and their Member States to realize the importance of technological neutrality and its regulation, since otherwise the network would be overloaded with information, there would be cuts and blockages in the Internet service and the right to neutrality would be violated.

In 2013, driven by that resolution, the Commission and the Council presented a proposal for a Regulation with the objective of achieving a single market for electronic communications. After the passage through the corresponding bodies and the presentation of amendments, the final text of the Regulation of the Single Market of Electronic Communications was approved.

The final document did not like too much among the defenders of the network neutrality because they considered it too distorted and complained about the exceptions that were contemplated when altering said such neutrality. The legislation of the United States is much less permissive in this respect.

Application of the technological neutrality principle

Not only do you have to plead by the technological neutrality principle in the highest spheres of European officiality. To be a reality, it must descend in cascade to all administrative levels and, above all, be reflected in the products and services that companies offer.

It is paradoxical that, for example, in Spain, there are still numerous digital platforms of the public administration -both national, regional and local- that, for a citizen to communicate with it, and, above all, to be able to identify or sign a document with a digital certificate, first have a series of warnings of the type:

“To be able to use the platform, you have to have XX and XX installed”

“Use only the XX browser”

“Only XX format is accepted”

Etc…

The concept of technological neutrality at the user level is that any product or service is accessible through any means, platform or operating system, that is, a company does not force you to buy a certain mobile device to be able to use its service. This is essential in a society that always advocates for the greatest possible degree of freedom for its citizens and consumers.

We have developed the concept of a universal signature that is closely related to technological neutrality in Viafirma. So, thanks to the Universal Signature, all the products that compose the suite Viafirma, have the largest compatibility matrix in the market, working in any operating system, browser and mobile device.

There are many types of users who need to use the electronic signature in their day to day and thanks to the universal signature they can all carry out their work, whether they have an iPhone or Android device or that they are using a Windows computer, Apple or Linux. Not to mention the enormous advantage that this tool gives thanks to mobility.

This ease and use availability allows the user to sign from anywhere, which shows that it is truly a universal signature. This helps any company to save in economic costs and to break the geographical barriers and internationalize its activity, since it is not necessary that the signatories are in the same room at the same time.

In case of needing the electronic signature to make visits to clients at home or outside the office, technological neutrality also helps to make them much easier and not have to make a large investment in a particular device model, or purchase a specific proprietary software, but to use anyone you want. It is the company that decides what device or software to use according to their needs.

The universal signature of viafirma not only has these advantages, it is also a simple and intuitive technology, suitable for all audiences and does not need to be an expert to make use of it.

The adoption of the digital signature is an almost inevitable step in companies due to the process of digital transformation that is currently being experienced. This transformation involves a great saving of costs in the paper that is used for these documents and a better organization and file of the contracts and other signed files.

In addition, another of the defining characteristics of technological neutrality is its flexibility for future changes, something logical and necessary in this market where updates and improvements are produced every other moment. By not being linked to a specific device or operating system, the viafirma suite will continue to work when updating your operating system or when changing your workstation.

Definitely, technological neutrality is a principle that Viafirma takes very seriously, since its application in our electronic signature services results in greater flexibility and freedom for our customers. Many of the advantages of electronic signature with viafirma derive directly from the application of technological neutrality as the concept of universal signature.