Starting June 11, Mobile Driver’s Licenses Will Be Available in New York State - Latest Global News

Starting June 11, Mobile Driver’s Licenses Will Be Available in New York State

New York is the next state to launch a mobile ID program, giving its residents the ability to digitize their driver’s license or non-driver’s identification card.

Starting today, the New York Mobile ID app is available on Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The app can be used for identity verification at airports. A physical driver’s license, permit, or non-driver’s license is required to activate a mobile ID. During the registration process, you will be required to take a photo of the front and back with your phone.

The news was announced Tuesday during a press conference at LaGuardia Airport, attended by Mark JF Schroeder, commissioner of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, and Robert Duffy, federal security director of the Transportation Security Administration, among others. Their argument is that mobile IDs “will revolutionize the way New Yorkers protect their identities and will greatly improve the way they pass through security checkpoints at airports across the country.” State officials also stress that it is a voluntary option designed for convenience.

“When you present your mobile ID to the TSA or anyone else who accepts it, you have full control over what that information is shared with. They can only see the information they want to see,” Schroeder said. “If you only have to prove your age, you can withhold other information that an examiner doesn’t need to see.”

To date, fewer than a dozen U.S. states have adopted mobile driver’s licenses. New York joins a list that includes Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri and Utah. Android and iOS both offer native support for mobile driver’s licenses in their respective digital wallet apps.

In fact, the days of having to say “keys, wallet, phone” every time you leave the house may soon be over – at least for some of us. In addition to government IDs, smartphones can also store credit cards and even digital car keys.

However, digital IDs also come with privacy concerns: They can potentially be tracked and leave a more detailed trail of where you’ve been (and for what purpose) than traditional physical IDs. Storing all that data with a contracted third party carries some risks, and privacy activists are calling for safeguards such as strong encryption and strict citizen control over what data is shared with whom.

In January, the New York Civil Liberties Union wrote a letter to the DMV urging it to suspend a potential pilot for a mobile ID program and demanding greater transparency, saying the agency’s efforts have largely taken place outside of the public eye and therefore deserve more scrutiny.

“The perceived need for a program should be discussed in public forums and include plans for technical and legal safeguards, including comprehensive privacy protections,” the group said. “Digitizing an identification system requires special attention and tremendous care, given the harm we have seen across the country and beyond.”

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