Adobe announced Tuesday the Cloud Signature Consortium, a group comprised of leading industry and academic organizations committed to building a new open standard for cloud-based digital signatures across mobile and web – so anyone can digitally sign documents from anywhere.

Digital signatures are the most advanced and secure type of electronic signature, increasingly used by businesses and governments around the world, said Adobe.

Using standards-compliant digital signatures today can be a cumbersome, time consuming process that keeps people tethered to their desktop. In many cases, they need certificate-based IDs stored on a physical device, like a USB token or smart card. This approach doesn’t meet increasing consumer and business expectations for simple and engaging experiences that work anywhere, on any device, the company said.

And, while some cloud-based digital signature solutions exist, they are proprietary and fragmented, rather than an open approach that offers a choice of certificate providers.

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Adobe says it is collaborating with industry leaders to develop an open standard that will bring “the world’s most secure form of electronic signing to over seven billion mobile devices around the globe.”

“Adobe has a history of pioneering and advancing industry standards like PDF. We embrace open standards and, where none exist, we help create them,” said Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager of Digital Media, Adobe.

“With more than six billion digital and electronic signature transactions processed each year through Adobe Sign and Adobe Document Cloud, we are focused on moving the signature industry forward. Today, in collaboration with the Cloud Signature Consortium, we are proud to advance an open standard for cloud-based digital signatures.”

A new European Union signature regulation (eIDAS) will go into effect on July 1, 2016, helping pave the way for global adoption of secure digital signatures.