In another post, we introduced the topic of digital signatures by discussing secure websites. We mentioned that web browsers include built-in lists of trusted certificate providers to increase security. That doesn’t mean that certificates issued by other providers are not as secure. All it means is that a reliable third party somehow validated the identity of the person or organization requesting the certificate for the electronic signature. Certificates work because a document is with a private key, and the signature can be verified with the public key in the certificate.
The information technology departments of companies often create their certificates for use internally because they trust themselves and can add themselves to the trusted list in their employees’ web browsers. But if they tried to use those self-generated certificates on the public Internet, their customers’ web browsers would display a scary “not trusted” message. Obtaining certificates from a trusted third-party provider that verifies identity in some way gives the public more confidence in the company. That’s the purpose of a digital signature certificate authority. The certificate authority issues digital certificates that are trusted by others.
Similarly, California approves electronic notarization solution providers if they comply with the technical specifications of the rules and standards governing electronic notarization processes and procedures in California.
You can see the state’s approved list of providers here: Approved List of Digital Signature Certification Authorities.