By Grace Vasquez
I already panic when I don’t have my phone with me so I can’t even imagine how I’ll freak if the state forces us to place our drivers license on a phone app! It’s coming! There’s a pilot program that’s been launched in four states and Washington, D.C.
The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provided a two-million-dollar grant to cybersecurity company Gemalto to design and test a digital license in a two-year pilot program.
So far field trials have been conducted in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The app shows your license, front and back, just like the plastic version. However, the app also has settings that allow you to limit what’s shown, depending on the situation.
For example, when buying alcohol it would only show your photo and say you are of age. Gemalto also plans to develop an app you can access separately from the other information on your phone so police wouldn’t have access to one’s full phone if you hand it over.
Paul Grassi, with the NIST, says he believes most Americans will have the choice of using a digital driver’s license, or sticking with the old hard copy, within the next five years. And there’s the rub, “will have a choice” what happens when you no longer have a choice. Plus, how much info will the government be collecting on us and using at their discretion? “What keeps the government from overreaching?” that’s the question posed by civil libertarian Dan Recht.
Recht said, “What keeps them from going the next step? And it really is only another step or two, to a national ID where they know everything about you.”
I have to agree with Mr. Recht. Where do we draw the line before any government agency can violate our Fourth Amendment? And we are freely giving up all our privacy to government: local, state and federal.
Hold on my peeps, we are entering a slippery slope. ~grace