Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
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Secure Electronic Signature Regulations

Version of section 1 from 2006-03-22 to 2011-03-09:

 The following definitions apply in these Regulations.


Act means the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. (Loi)

asymmetric cryptography

asymmetric cryptography means a cryptographic system that relies on key pairs. (système de chiffrement à clé publique)

certification authority

certification authority means a person or entity that issues digital signature certificates and that has been listed as such on the website of the Treasury Board Secretariat. (autorité de certification)

digital signature certificate

digital signature certificate, in respect of a person, means an electronic document that

  • (a) identifies the certification authority that issued it and is digitally signed by that certification authority;

  • (b) identifies, or can be used to identify, the person; and

  • (c) contains the person's public key. (certificat de signature numérique)


entity includes any federal department, branch, office, board, agency, commission, corporation or body for the administration of the affairs of which a minister of the Crown is accountable to Parliament. (entité)

hash function

hash function means an electronic one-way mathematical process that converts data contained in an electronic document into a message digest that is unique to that data in a way that, were that data changed, it would, on conversion, result in a changed message digest. (fonction de hachage)

key pair

key pair means a pair of keys held by or for a person that includes a private key and a public key that are mathematically related to, but different from, each other. (biclé)

private key

private key means a string of data that

  • (a) is used in asymmetric cryptography to encrypt data contained in an electronic document; and

  • (b) is unique to the person who is identified in, or can be identified through, a digital signature certificate and corresponds only to the public key in that certificate. (clé privée)

public key

public key means a string of data contained in a digital signature certificate that

  • (a) is used in asymmetric cryptography to decrypt data contained in an electronic document that was encrypted through the application of the private key in the key pair; and

  • (b) corresponds only to the private key in the key pair. (clé publique)

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