Several states to roll out digital IDs this year


(NBC News) – You can use your phone to ride the subway, to pay for things at the store, and now to prove your identity.

Digital IDs are rolling out in ten states this year. IDEMIA, the company that currently controls about 80% of drivers licenses, is paving the way.

Biometric authentication ensures that each person only has access to their own ID. There are also special characteristics to prevent spoofs, such as animated security features.

During a traffic stop, officers could simply ping a driver’s phone to verify their ID. IDEMIA said drivers will never have to hand over their device with this feature.

Mobile IDs could also reduce how often visitors have to visit the DMV.

There are some problems that come with the switch. Roger Net of CNET says some people could get left behind.

“Some folks don’t have smartphones, some folks can’t afford smartphones,” Net said.

There are also questions of how digital IDs will work across state lines as well as questions of how accepting the public will be of them. Mobile payments have become more popular, but many businesses still don’t accept them.

“I think you’re going to see that same reluctance to transition with digital IDs,” Net said.

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