Document Exchange

The Challenge

The prevalent method of sending documents as attachments to emails often leads to uncertainties, disputes, and compliance violations

The Solution: Change your Mindset, make Documents First Class Citizens

Instead of treating documents as attachments to emails, the DactaTrace Document Exchange treats documents as first class citizens, making the document lifecycle fully traceable for both senders, and recipients.

Instead of attaching documents to an email, users of the Document Exchange can send documents directly.

Over time, documents can have arbitrary numbers of amendments attached to them, by either the sender or each of the recipients.

When an amendment is attached to a document, the author of the amendment can sign the amendment with their private key, effectively sealing the amendment together with the document and the timestamp.

Documents and amendments can be tracked end-to-end by both the sender, and by the recipients.

Users of the Document Exchange have their own, private and immutable archives of all documents sent, and received.

Documents in the archives can be encrypted, using either document-specific passwords (using symmetric encryption), or the recipients' public keys (using asymmetric Public Key encryption).

All document archives are in Switzerland.

Documents that are sent through the DactaTrace Document Exchange can be tracked end-to-end by both the sender, and by the recipients. The sender can see the exact date and time when the document was delivered to the recipient, as well as the date and time when the recipient actually viewed the document for the first time. The recipient cannot deny having received the document, nor the date and time when they viewed the document for the first time. In the same way, for each document that has been received, the recipient can see the exact date and time when the sender sent the document. The sender cannot deny having sent the document, nor the date and time when they sent the document.

For documents that have no special privacy requirements, sending them unencrypted is the most convenient and most economical option. However, for personal or otherwise sensitive documents that have special privacy requirements, the DactaTrace Document Exchange provides two different encryption levels:

  1. Public Key Encryption to protect all documents sent, as well as all documents in the archive. The Private / Public Key pair is generated automatically at registration time. For additional security, advanced and extremely security conscious users can choose to have their Private Key protected by a secret personal password, rather than the default secret master password that is managed by AG. While the default secret master password protects your Private Key (and hence the security and privacy of your documents) against external hacker attacks, the secret personal password that is only known by you, and that is never stored in the Document Exchange, protects your Private Key also against insider attacks.

  2. Encrypt documents with document-specific passwords. In that case, passwords must be set individually for each document, and shared with recipients through a separate, private channel. Encrypting documents with a document-specific password that is shared with recipients through a separate, private channel is useful to protect "for-your-eyes-only" types of documents. In addition, it can reduce the risk that private information is unintentionally disclosed when by accident a private document is sent to a wrong address.

When it turns out that additional recipients need a document that was previously sent, a copy of the document can be redistributed directly from the private and immutable ArchiveSent of the DactaTrace Document Exchange. This guarantees that all recipients have exactly the same version of the document.

Both the sender of a document, as well as the recipients can attach amendments, i.e., short text messages to each of the documents, either when a document is initially sent, or any time thereafter. For example, the sender can attach an amendment that says "Please provide feedback by the end of the week", or "Please confirm that you agree with the terms and conditions of this proposal", etc. The recipient can then attach another amendment to the same document saying, for example "Happy to provide feedback, but I need a few days more", or "I confirm my agreement with the terms and conditions of this proposal".

Amendments can be cryptographically signed with the Private Key of the author of the comment. The signature seals the amendment together with the underlying document and the timestamp when the amendment was sent.

When a new version of a document becomes available, it can be distributed with a single click of a button to all recipients of the previous version. Both the recipients, as well as the sender can navigate through the version history of each document in their InBox, ArchiveReceived, and ArchiveSent.

Documents can be sent individually or, with the DactaTrace Bulk Distribution function, bundled in a ZIP-File. The Bulk Distribution function is especially useful when large numbers of documents, each labeled with the email address of the respective recipient, must be distributed. Practical examples include salary statements, etc.

DactaTrace Document Exchange Registration is free. All that is required is an existing and verified Google Account, or a valid email address.

Following successful verification of their email address, registered users can send documents to any of the other registered users.

When a user sends a document to an address that is not yet registered, the DactaTrace Document Exchange can send an email with a registration link to the intended recipient.

DactaTrace Exchange Free Trial

Additional details are described here and in the links below

Until the end of the free trial program (scheduled for December 31, 2020), registered users can send, track, and archive up to a maximum of 1'000 documents free of charge (max. document size 20MB, total document storage max. 10GB).

Maximum usage limitations, and pricing after the end of the free trial program will be communicated in 4Q2020.