PhD thesis

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Digital Document, Authenticity and User Experience – Extended area of

Digital Trust


PhD thesis in Université de Technologie de Troyes CNRS, ICD, Tech-CICO (2013-2019)
Defence on 19/09/2019


Digital signature technologies enable today to establish digital writings as document (i.e. as proofs), on the same basis than paper.
Contrary to what discourses about “digital trust” could let think, document authenticity does not guarantee neither veracity nor zero-risk in considering it : digital trust is not a replacement of human and social trust by technology.

What is in stake in a document is trust towards people or institutions that approved it or are witnesses about its existence. On these aspects, paper laboratory notebooks are emblematic because of their structure and their rules of use. The digitization of laboratory notebooks challenges their properties in regards to their purpose. After analyzing the notebook’s probation nature, through case law, a contribution to the emerging domain of “Usable security” is made : an interactive display of crytographic signatures (more specifically of trusted timestamp tokens). Then, an instrumented document process is designed to enable the constitution of solid evidences, without hampering creators or innovators activity. Converging miscellaneous testing methods are deployed to ponder the software, its design, its use, and subsequently, materialized assumptions.

Electronic evidence
Dematerialization (computer science) and law
User-centered system design
Scientific archives