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Secure Technology Alliance white paper discusses mDL implementation in U.S.

Secure Technology Alliance white paper discusses mDL implementation in U.S.

The Secure Technology Alliance has published a white paper to provide recommendations for U.S. states interested in adopting mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs), following the technology’s fast develpment in the U.S. The white paper addresses a number of issues including technicalities, standards and privacy challenges.

“More services are becoming digital to satisfy consumer’s preferences for using smartphones to carry payments cards, membership cards, and other ID cards with sensitive personal information. Digitizing driver’s licenses is a logical next step,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Secure Technology Alliance, in a prepared statement. “To help stakeholders understand how mDLs will change how identification is managed, this resource will answer essential questions around the standards, features and uses of an mDL; why someone should use or accept an mDL; and how the mDL will meet expectations of trustworthiness.”

The resource only examines technology implemented in the U.S., compliant with the draft ISO/IEC standard 18013-5. A number of industry and government members, as well as industry leaders participated in drafting it.

Some U.S. states have already implemented mDLs, while others are still in the process of trying to get the system started. As payments, IDs and other documents have already gone digital, mobile driver’s licenses seemed to be the next step to improve how identification is managed.

The mDL can contain not just data from a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) but also other important information regarding state privileges or national context. The main stakeholders in the mDL ecosystem are the mDL holder (holder), the issuing authority (issuer), relying party (verifier), and the identity provider (provider). According to the white paper, the goal is to also use mDLs when purchasing age-restricted items, opening bank accounts, renting or sharing cars, going through airport security or accessing secure locations.

Unlike state-issued physical driver’s licenses, mDLs can be more convenient and secure, as they provide stronger identity authentication and can help make identity transactions more efficient, according to the Secure Technology Alliance. An mDL has a number of features, including secure and convenient identity verification, full control for the holder over data sharing practices, cost reduction with remote credential management, and cryptographic verification of state IDs.

When evaluating mDLs, the Alliance looks at technical details on a number of ecosystem considerations, including the process to issue and accept mDLs, how to establish and maintain trust, verifier and reader privacy insights, usage architecture and challenges in building a secure ecosystem.

An introduction to mDLs and more educational information will be provided for stakeholders in a webinar on Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 1pm ET (10am PT).

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