Electronic driver’s licenses are coming

Many of us have quickly become accustomed to our phone acting as our credit card (Google Pay, Apple Pay), but pretty soon we may be putting our official IDs onto our phones as well. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO — which you might think is a confused acronym, but comes from the fact that the organization was created in 1947, back when we still did everything international in French) is about to release ISO 18013-5, “ISO-compliant driving licence — Part 5: Mobile driving licence (mDL) application,” which will be a standard for governmental personal identification on your phone. Florida announced about a month ago that they’ll start offering a digital driver’s license next year. The reason this is news this week is that Google has posted a blog about support for the feature in Android, extolling the privacy virtues of a digital ID. It’s pretty cute for Google to be talking about the importance of the privacy of your personal information, particularly in the context of advertising (apparently, when stores scan the back of your driver’s license, e.g., to prove you’re old enough to buy alcohol, that scan gets all of the info from your license, which is then often sold to advertisers, resulting in junk mail in your physical mail box), they do have some points.

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