Gone are the days of the fat wallet bursting at the seems, since smartphones can now contain most anything that a wallet does—except the driver’s license. But don’t write that possibility off just yet.
Forbes.com reports on a story from the Des Moines Register that the Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles is hot on the trail of getting driver’s licenses into smartphones: an app that would contain all the applicable data, a scannable bar code and a two-step verification which would include a biometric.
The technology isn’t quite with us, but we all know it will be here soon enough. And needless to say, the smart driver’s license will bring with it security concerns.
The Forbes article points out that a digital identity expert sees the glass half full. In other words, today’s security features are reliable enough to go ahead with confidence in developing the technology to get a driver’s license into a mobile phone. “I believe all the technologies to make this a high-security operation are already in play,” the expert states, “and just need to be orchestrated effectively.”
If anything, perhaps the driver’s license inside the smartphone will reduce the potential for fraud involving driver’s licenses.
Thus far, digital driver’s licenses are used at airports, and the feeling is that policies regarding the digital driver’s license are more important than figuring out a way to perfect the technology.
A good start for Iowa would be to get things rolling with the private sector, says the Forbes article, by letting it use digital licenses for minimal transactions such as age verification when purchasing liquor.
Let’s first see how these smaller-scale transactions go over, is the thinking, before diving head first into using cyber licenses for full-scale transactions such as “showing” it to the police officer who pulls you over for speeding, or using it for making a large purchase with a check.
Nevertheless, it’s not probable that cyber technology will replace all hardcopy/physical documents, especially since there will always be that segment of the population who insists on doing things “the old-fashioned way.” The power of paper.