Utah’s New Digital Driver’s License Has Some Raising the Alarm

(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- Utah began a pilot program this year to roll out a mobile driver’s license which would allow state residents to carry their license or state ID card information on their mobile devices.

On Monday, a Twitter user tweeted a picture of a flyer purportedly describing what Utah’s mobile driver’s license would include. The image, which circulated widely on social media, suggested that the app may go further than just licenses.

The flyer listed over a dozen types of records it claims can be added at a later time, including “Vaccine Records,” “Dietary preferences,” and “Social Credit Scoring.”

Needless to say, people on social media went bananas, accusing Utah of being just like the Communist Chinese.

Of course, the information shown in this tweet is not at all what the Utah program is. But you know how these things spread on social media.

According to Joe Dougherty, director of public affairs for the Utah Department of Safety, this mobile driver’s license application contains the “exact same information” as a physical driver’s license “and nothing more.”

The scope of the mobile app, Dougherty explains, “is so narrow,” that driver’s license information is all it “can do and would do.”

The app’s creator, GET Group North America, concurs. According to David Kelts, GET Group’s director of product development, the only thing Utah’s app contains is driver’s license information.

The flyer posted to Twitter contains a QR code that goes to a blog post by a group called the Utah Freedom Coalition. This blog post is where the scaremongering list is found.

But while the viral image is an inaccurate description of how Utah’s mobile driver’s license app works, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some concerns over possible privacy issues with going to a digital ID.

In May 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union posted a similar list in a report on digital IDs. The ACLU expressed concern that such programs could hypothetically be expanded for other types of verification.

Jay Stanley, the ACLU senior policy analyst who authored the report, said that Utah’s pilot program appears to be set up in a very narrow way to only allow for driver’s license information.

However, Stanley conceded that the infrastructure of mobile licenses does lend itself to other uses, adding that there is reason to think it might be eyed for carrying other information like health records. This is why the ACLU believes that the broader implications and privacy concerns of such programs should be carefully considered.