The retention of documents in accordance with, or in the form of digital document storage is a process that enables documents to be stored in a digital format while ensuring authenticity, integrity, reliability, readability and availability.

Preserving digitally means undertaking an action that adheres to specific standards, maintaining the value of the document unchanged over time, effectively blocking it in its form, content and uniqueness.

The eWitness system is characterized by the presence of the notary public as responsible for the conservation service, the core of all digital services proposed by eWitness. Our system can be used natively to achieve long-term digital preservation, as well as to complement other services or processes.

The eWitness retention solution, along with providing authenticity, integrity and legibility, traceability and reliability, has the following advantages:

  • opposability to third parties until proven otherwise
  • a firm date
  • ensures consistency

eWitness Digital Retention vs. other trust services

The eWitness® Digital Retention System is the basis of all digital trust services proposed by eWitness, and can be used natively to achieve long-term digital preservation as well as complementing other services or processes.

Solutions that leverage the eWitness Digital Retention System

Connection via cryptographic router, eWitness proprietary technology. Secure VPN implementation. Technical specifications

Data transit via FTP or Web Service.

PDF or XML digitally signed as a transfer receipt.

ISO 27001 certified infrastructure.

AgID Retention

The retention of documents (better known as digital preservation of electronic documents) is the legal/IT process, regulated by Italian law, which allows the creation of IT documents with full legal value. Replacement preservation brings paper documents in line with electronic documents, allowing private and public companies to eliminate or reduce the cost of printing, storage, archiving, tax stamps on printed journals, etc.

Digital preservation means replacing paper documents, which are legally required to be retained by certain legal entities, with equivalent documents in digital format that are ‘blocked’ in form, content and time through a digital signature and time marking.

What documents can be digitally retained?

An ever-increasing amount of documentation produced, with the need to give it a correct civil and fiscal value, has led over the years to a progressive updating of the Italian legal landscape concerning replacement preservation.

The following is an example (non-exhaustive) of documents that can be stored digitally (replacement preservation):

  • Invoices
  • DDT – Transport Documents
  • Tax receipts
  • Tax sales receipts
  • Annual financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, notes to the financial statements, annual report, auditors’ reports)
  • Tax declarations
  • Payment forms (e.g. F23 and F24 forms)
  • Accounting records (e.g. book journals, VAT registers, accounting master books, inventory books, etc.)
  • Single labour contract
  • CUD
  • Tenders
  • Contracts
  • Correspondence
  • Shareholders’ Registry
  • Bonds registry
  • Book of meetings and resolutions
  • Health records
  • Registered documents produced by public administrations or by companies subject to computer protocol obligations
  • Payment and reversal mandates

For certain types of documents, replacement preservation is the only legally valid method of retention. The following is an example (non-exhaustive) of documents that can be preserved digitally:

  • Certified E-Mail – Messages and Receipts
  • PA Invoices
  • Digitally signed contracts
  • etc.

Digital documents, whether native or obtained as a result of a dematerialization process, are sent to the eWitness Preservation System via a secure channel using eWitness proprietary technology.

The digital documents transmitted are subject to a series of processes that implement the concepts underlying the standards that define long-term preservation. The unique feature of the eWitness system is that it generates a range of evidence of transactions being performed.

The first evidence is the document’s HASH code, which is inserted in a signed PDF, submitted to the customer as a receipt of payment in the eWitness Preservation System; the receipt is digitally signed.

In addition to documents, the System can also receive metadata, such as a documentary system that can be used to index documents to facilitate future searches or other processing.

At the end of the work day, the system managing the documents log files of all system processes: from new documents to access and reading processes. All actions occurring on a document are tracked.

The Notary, subscribing to the daily logs, takes over the documents deposited, freezes them with a digital signature and attests to the existence of the documents taken over on a certain date.

Lastly, a number of further post-work tasks, such as the end of the fiscal year, enable legal and fiscal obligations to be met.