The state of California has rolled out a new digital ID system that requires residents to scan their faces and upload sensitive documents to a smartphone app.
The new system is first being ushered in with digital driver’s licenses.
Californians enrolled in the scheme will no longer carry physical documents and will instead have their sensitive driver’s license information saved on an app.
The new digital driver’s license/ID initiative is dubbed “mDL” by the California DMV.
This mobile driver’s license can be used as a digital ID in situations such as airport security or verifying age for alcohol purchases.
Along with the introduction of the scheme, the DMV published a promotional video online.
Despite being pitched as a technological advancement, the pilot program is already open to 1.5 million participants, with greater expansions to follow.
However, many are already highlighting red flags with the scheme.
To obtain this digital ID, users must download the “CA DMV Wallet” app.
Critically, this doesn’t interoperate with native or decentralized wallet systems.
Instead, Californians are forced to trust their sensitive information to a singular, state-run app.
The DMV insists that the app “does not permanently store your personal data,” but it still retains your phone number and an “encrypted photo of your DL/ID card.”
One must question the longevity and security of such data retention.
The digital version is only accepted at a few locations.
California’s Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom hinted at this rollout earlier this year.
Recent reports indicate a growing number of participants.
However, the system is raising concerns about the potential privacy risks and data vulnerabilities associated with this move.