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New York lawmaker pitches multiple mDL vendors despite $1.7M contract with Idemia I&S

New York lawmaker pitches multiple mDL vendors despite $1.7M contract with Idemia I&S
 

A New York State legislator is exploring an alternative path forward for mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) from the one the state is currently pursuing, with the aim of strengthening privacy protections.

Idemia Identity & Security North America was contracted by the state in 2022 to build a platform for digital identity verification and mDL issuance for $1.75 million, Bloomberg Law reports. The contract expires in December, 2025.

New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles is planning a pilot, but has yet to announce a start date.

A roundtable was held by New York Assembly Democrat Michaelle Solages, with participation from Google, the Better Identity Coalition, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and iProov representing the biometrics community.

Solages is reportedly also drafting a bill to propose that would outsource the development of mobile wallet for the mDL, which would be managed by the state. The proposal would make the digital IDs voluntary and establish rules for handling state residents’ data, which would include a prohibition on selling data to third parties or warrantless access by law enforcement. Solage also wants the DMV to work with advocacy groups and multiple vendors.

There has been no indication in New York or any other state that mDLs would be made mandatory.

The New York Civil Liberties Union opposes the introduction of mDLs, arguing they expose state residents to “numerous risks inherent to mDL and digital identification systems” in a letter to New York DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder.

No timeline has been set for the rollout of mDLs in New York and Schroeder has stated he is moving slowly due to the complexity of the project.

Idemia I&S also makes the mDLs for West Virginia, Iowa, Arizona, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Missouri.

Tennessee considers launch, Georgia eyes equivalence

Tennessee may be the next state to join in the adoption of mobile driver’s licenses, with a bill proposed in the House and Senate, Nashville’s WSMV reports.

After the bill was registered, State Senator Becky Massey told the Senate Transportation Committee that the Tennessee Department of Safety is already working on a Tennessee mDL, according to NewsChannel 5.

In Georgia, a bill to amend state law so that mDLs can be accepted as equivalent to physical driver’s licenses has been proposed.

HB 1001 passed the house by 168-1 vote on Wednesday.  If passed, the amendment would also prohibit police from requiring drivers to present an mDL.

Idemia also appears to be the mDL supplier for Georgia.

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