Credit: GET Group North America
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Utah Piloting Mobile Digital ID on Standard that Could Be Used Globally

Utah’s new mobile driver’s license pilot project just might be the future of digital IDs in the U.S.

The state’s newly announced program is the first in the U.S., officials say, to fully comply with a new standard for digital IDs currently going through the adoption process at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Should that standard become widely adopted, like standards that govern the creation of physical driver’s licenses, it would create an ecosystem where mobile IDs share similar features no matter where they’re issued, and can therefore be easily accepted almost anywhere.

In other words, Utah is trying out a version of mDLs that it hopes will become commonplace across the U.S. and the world. The state Driver License Division (DLD) is starting up the project in response to a bill the Legislature passed last year requiring it to offer digital IDs to the public by the beginning of 2022.

“There was nothing by statute or code that required the ISO standard,” said Chris Caras, director of the Utah DLD. “The division chose to make that a requirement for the product because what we’re concerned about is ultimately the interoperability and acceptance of that document, and that ISO standard is really what we see will facilitate that level of acceptance and credibility in circulation.”

The state’s project will use an app from GET Group North America, in partnership with Scytáles, which recently passed a third-party verification that the software complies with the ISO standard.

The standards are designed to improve the security of IDs, as well as address security concerns and make fakery harder. But perhaps their biggest advantage is that they serve as a means of ensuring that a digital ID will be useful regardless of which company provides it, which state issues it or the verification technology a bar bouncer uses to read it.

Scott Vien, business development director of GET Group, thinks the U.S. will gravitate toward the standards over time until it becomes common sense.

“I don’t know that there’s any U.S. jurisdiction that isn’t engaged in this conversation,” he said.

The standards provide some advantages over physical IDs, aside from the fundamental difference that they’re digital. One is that they give the ID holder more power to determine what information they’re giving out. When a person hands their driver’s license to another person, they’re giving them all the information on the card. But with a mobile ID, a person can choose to show only the information relevant to the situation. Read Full Article >

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