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Drivers Licenses are Going Digital in Louisiana

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Finland announced plans for a digital drivers license this year, and several U.S. States are running similar pilot programs of their own. So far, digital drivers license systems have been fairly limited, but a report by IEEE Spectrum claims that could change in Louisiana soon. According to the report, the developers of the app LA Wallet claim that "bars, restaurants, grocery stores and other retailers" will be allowed to accept digital IDs as proof of age next week. The founder of the app company claims about 71,000 people have downloaded the app, but so far, only police offers are required to accept it as a form of ID, limiting its usage. Spectrum points out that it would be possible to steal someones digital identity in the same way that credit card info is stolen, but there are major security benefits to the system too, and Louisiana has no plans to make plastic IDs obsolete yet.


Drivers Licenses are Going Digital in Louisiana
There's also a handy security feature that allows anyone with the LA Wallet app to authenticate another person's Louisiana digital driver's license. In our Bourbon Street bar scenario, the bartender and the young woman would use the app's "VerifyYou" feature. It allows the bar patron to select which information she would like to reveal to the bartender-in this case, simply the fact that she is over 21. That information is displayed on the phone with a photo and embedded QR code. The bartender scans the code with her app, which tells her that the woman seated on the other side of the bar is indeed over 21. None of the customer's personal information, such as her name, birth date, or address, is displayed or stored on the bartender's phone. Together, the VerifyYou feature and the security seal make the digital driver's license hard to fake. That's because the cryptography is time-based and can only be used once.

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