Would You Get One of Apple's New Digital Driver's Licenses?

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We store a lot of personal info on our cell phones. From bank account access to private conversations, we often treat the data we keep on these devices as if they are an extension of ourselves. 
But is there a line we shouldn’t cross when it comes to what we use our cellphones for? Some people are asking that question since Apple announced that iPhone Apple Watch users in Arizona and Georgia will soon be able to store digital ID cards and driver’s licenses on their devices.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will also incentivize travelers to use these digital IDs by providing specific lanes at airports for people using the new tech. Privacy and civil liberty activists are warning that the development could threaten our digital privacy.
A person looking down at an Apple logo on the sidewalk
Apple could soon allow you to store your driver’s license in your Apple Wallet.

How do digital driver’s licenses work?

The digital ID is part of Apple’s Wallet app. Like a physical wallet, Apple intends for users to use the app to secure all their private info, including credit card and bank numbers.
Adding an ID to the Wallet app will take a few steps. Vox says users will need to add pictures of their ID card and other photos of their face. Then, they’ll have to “complete a series of facial and head movements during the setup process” as Apple put it in their press release. 
From there, it’s up to states to verify the ID. Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Iowa, Utah, and Connecticut are all set to join the program after Arizona and Georgia complete their pilot project. 
There are other programs already underway in other states, like New York State’s “Excelsior Pass” program in cooperation with IBM.

Why are people concerned about implementing digital IDs?

The American Civil Liberties Union raised concerns about digital state ID systems in May. Vox says the organization’s report highlighted worries about access to users’ phones by police, surveillance risks, and the potential for these apps to one day be mandatory. 
Critics of New York State’s plans pointed out that the “Excelsior Pass” was originally described only as a solution to the vaccine passport problem, but that the state intended to do much more with it from the beginning.
They warn that this type of project expansion will inevitably deteriorate the digital privacy of citizens and that we need to recognize it as a pattern rather than an independent event. They are calling for honesty and transparency from governments and tech companies.

Besides driving, what else do I need a driver’s license for?

Driver’s licenses are not just permission slips for driving. They are also the most widely used government-issued IDs. They’re used for verifying your age, traveling, and in most cases, they are required for buying car insurance.
There are exceptions to that last one, though. If someone else drives a vehicle you own, you can sign up for car insurance, but you’ll need documented proof of your situation before getting started.
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