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Australian statehouse talks expanding power of digital driver license

Australian statehouse talks expanding power of digital driver license

Digital driver licenses appear to be a hit, at least in Australia’s state of New South Wales. A test program created in 2017 and launched to general availability last year has resulted in 1.7 million residents downloading the biometric document.

Now the government is considering legislation that would make the opt-in digital IDs as legitimate as are physical licenses. The state reportedly is working on a pilot with a small number of pharmacies to see if there are any deal breakers in terms of getting digital licenses imbedded in that sector. Pharmacists must verify the identity of people buying certain medications.

The biometrics-backed digital credential was already being accepted by Australia Post and some supermarkets for certain transactions at the beginning of 2020, when a million people had signed up.

The state is also continuing work on its so-called copy solution, which would make the digital driver license a new way for businesses to confirm the identity of a person taking part in transactions that require a photocopy of a plastic license.

The digital licenses crossed beta and went live last October. Aussie technology publication iTnews reports that almost a third of all people with driver licenses in the state have downloaded the ID app.

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