technological neutrality

What is technological neutrality?

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

The development of technology today has led to a number of debates and concepts that have to be addressed sooner or later. Technological neutrality is one of them. This idea does not have an official definition as such, so we will use the most widespread one.

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

The principle of technological neutrality is not just a theory that a few people are betting on, but has already been used officially by the European Union, setting a precedent in the legislative sphere.

In 1999, the European Commission used the principle of technological neutrality as a regulatory principle for the first time in an official document on the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications. It is clear that the struggle for technological neutrality is not a recent and passing issue, but a necessity for the proper development of innovation. The consolidation of the principle of technological neutrality came about with Directive 2009/140/EC, which amended previous directives.

A couple of years later, in November 2011, the European Parliament passed the resolution of November 17, 2011 on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe. This resolution was a wake-up call for the European institutions and its Member States to realize the importance of technological neutrality and its regulation, 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, prompted by that resolution, the Commission and the Council presented a proposal for a Regulation with the aim of achieving a single market for electronic communications. After passing through the corresponding bodies and the presentation of amendments, the final text of the Single Electronic Communications Market Regulation was approved.

The final document was not very well received by net neutrality advocates because they considered it to be too weak and complained about the exceptions provided for when it came to altering net neutrality. US legislation is much less permissive in this respect.

Application of the principle of technological neutrality

The principle of technological neutrality must not only be advocated at the highest levels of European officialdom. For it to become a reality, it must cascade down to all administrative levels and, above all, be embodied 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, in order for a citizen to communicate with it, and, above all, to be able to identify himself or sign a document with a digital certificate, he first has a series of warnings of the type:

  • To use the platform, you must have XX and XX installed.
  • Use only the XX browser
  • Only XX format is supported
  • And so, many more…

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

In viafirma we have developed the concept of universal signature, which is closely related to technological neutrality. Thus, thanks to the Universal Signature, all Viafirma’s products have the highest compatibility matrix of the market, working in any operating system, browser and mobile device.

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

This ease and availability of use allows the user to sign from anywhere, which proves that it is truly a universal signature. This helps any company to save on economic costs and to break down geographical barriers and internationalize its business, as signatories do not need to be in the same room at the same time.

In the case of needing the electronic signature for visits to customers at home or outside the office, technological neutrality also helps to make them much easier and not having to make a large investment in a particular model of device, or the purchase of specific proprietary software, but can use any. It is up to the company to decide which device or software to use according to its needs.

The viafirma universal signature not only has these advantages, it is also a simple and intuitive technology, suitable for everyone and you don’t need to be an expert to use it.

The adoption of digital signatures is an almost inevitable step in companies due to the digital transformation process that is currently underway. This transformation leads to great cost savings in the paper used for these documents and a better organization and archiving of 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 very little time. By not being tied to a specific device or operating system, the viafirma suite will continue to work when you update your operating system or change your terminal.

In short, technological neutrality is a principle that we at viafirma take very seriously, since its application in our electronic signature services results in greater flexibility and freedom for our clients. Many of the advantages of electronic signatures with viafirma derive directly from the application of technological neutrality as the concept of universal signature.


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