Theft of driver’s license data in Louisiana could be a big test for digital ID
Louisiana officials and their vendor Envoc, have been on a roll in the last few years with their digital driver’s license and wallet programs. Biometric information associated with everything from driver’s licenses to fishing licenses were part of those records.
This attack, reportedly carried out by the Clop ransomware group, did not specifically target mobile driver’s licenses in the state or anywhere else, but the nuances of data thievery, such as they are, might get lost on residents, many of whom are skeptical of things like mDLs.
The vehicle registration office has a lot of company, of course, but there is a degree of symmetry in the MOVEit breach two weeks ago a bit north in Northeastern State University. Northeastern is in Oklahoma, an intensely agricultural, conservative state.
At stake are the biometric data from driver’s licenses and passports and demographic information including Social Security numbers of everyone who schools or works at the university.
(Of course, threats don’t stop at breaches.)
Oklahoma has had a mobile ID program for about two years. The digital identification document can be added to Apple’s and Google’s wallets as well.
The question is, how will this breach impact acceptance in areas that historically tend to be resistant to new technology? What if, after the cities and university towns sign up, support evaporates?
It’s unknowable now. There’s some room for optimism in the fact that these programs got out of a legislative committee to begin with.
From the beginning, it was noteworthy, at least to those in the United States, when Louisiana made digital ID and wallets a priority. It was more unexpected to hear that 2.5 million digital IDs (of all kinds) had been issued.
Skepticism of these sorts of things run deep in the U.S. South, and the state of Louisiana is as South as it gets. And yet, Louisiana has more mobile driver’s licenses in digital wallets than California.