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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Are smartphone IDs a new opportunity?

The “there’s an app for that” revolution continues to roll along.

Wall Street Journal article caught my eye today about Iowa and MorphoTrust USA – formerly L-1 Identity Solutions – working together for a smartphone-based driver’s license.

Some of the privacy and authenticity questions are interesting:

  • How will a police officer gather information off of the phone?
  • What if an incriminating text comes through while a police officer is holding the phone?
  • Can the officer just scan the data with another device and never touch the phone?
  • How easy is a digital driver’s license to fake?

Iowa and MorphoTrust are looking at ways to hide smartphone notifications while the license is in use and have the photo on the license move slightly so it is obvious that the digital license isn’t just a screen shot.

I can imagine there are a variety of federal applications for a digital identity card. Perhaps physical identity cards will become less common one or a digital ID on your phone will be another layer of security.

Where you go, your phone goes, so why not make your phone a part of your access to facilities as well as networks?

And, of course, if the government moves in this direction, there will be plenty of opportunities for rebuilding the infrastructure that issues and processes smartphone IDs. The key in today's environment is showing how a switch to a smartphone based ID will save money or increase sufficiency over current methods.

Either way, we should expect more states to follow Iowa. MorphoTrust told the Wall Street Journal that they are talking to 20 other states.

I hope Virginia is one. It’ll be one less thing for me to keep track of.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 12, 2014 at 8:02 AM

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