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Mobile driver’s licenses and health IDs merging as part of a new digital wallet

Mobile driver’s licenses and health IDs merging as part of a new digital wallet

In an interesting coincidence, a Chinese digital health pass is gaining broader mobile ID capabilities as a Utah mobile ID branches out into health care biometric roles.

Meeting in the middle as these programs are doing, is changing how people see their digital IDs. And in another interesting juxtaposition, a consultant in the field is proposing a whole new context for digital identification.

Tracey Follows, CEO of consultancy Futuremade, in a piece contributed to Forbes.com points out that most people talking about digital IDs are really describing a digital wallet. It is more than authentication and verification semantics.

Follows notes that a vocal minority in Western democracies hear “digital ID” and think new form of government control. What is needed is a standards-based digital wallet securely holding standards-based IDs, which are already given to people by governments and businesses.

She invokes Drummond Reed, chief trust officer of digital ID vendor Evernym. Follows quotes him pointing out that no one owns their driving license or credit cards. But people do decide which IDs will go in their physical wallet and where and how they are used.

It is true, however, that health IDs are new to the world, but as long as they, too, are built on standards, they can be privately issued.

That is the case in Utah, where the state’s driving license agency has opened mobile driving licenses, or mDLs, to integration with private programs.

The regional Harmons Grocery chain is the first such Utah business to start a pilot in which selected stores accept mDLs for verification when holders make pharmacy transactions and purchases of products available only to people 18 years and older. It will work with GET Mobile Verify and similar apps, according to an announcement from GET Group North America.

The city of Shanghai is coming in from the opposite direction. It is Suishenma digital ID, which is a health QR code, will not incorporate 12 identification functions, including health services, child care, transportation, tourism, food and drug safety services and environmental protection.

As the ID had a face photo, that same biometric can now be used interchangeably with a driving license and the other services’ ID requirements.

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