Iowa to lead charge to become first U.S. state to issue smartphone-based digital ID cards

Iowa is leading the charge to become the first state in the nation to issue a digital ID. The state wants to create a smartphone-based driver's license via an app that could be installed on the iPhone or on devices using Google's Android operating system. The digital driver's license would co-exist with a traditional plastic license issued today.

Early reports suggest that the Iowa Department of Transportation is aiming for a 2015 launch, but spokeswoman Andrea Henry says that the timing isn't clear as the state must wade through concerns about privacy and security.

There are several concerns that are outlined as examples in a report published by the Wall Street Journal.

Henry believes the app will work in a way so that "the phone never leaves your hands." Users could hold up the phone so that police or Transportation Security Administration officers can scan the license electronically, rather than handling the phone.

Another issue Iowa is looking to address is finding a way to hide smartphone notifications so that an officer doesn't see them while checking a license. Iowa is also working on ways to prevent fakes. One feature might have the photo on the license move slightly so that it is distinguishable from a screenshot.

The app is being built in partnership with MorphoTrust USA.

Source: Wall Street Journal