Iowa Pursues a Virtual Driver’s License App®ion=Body

Iowa is hoping to become the first state in the nation to make the physical driver’s license obsolete.

This month, state transportation officials announced they were developing a mobile app that would enable residents to carry virtual versions of their driver’s licenses on their smartphones. The news was first reported by The Des Moines Register.

But legal experts say the idea of using a smartphone, which typically contains vast amounts of personal information, instead of a physical government ID, introduces a host of data security and privacy issues.

“It raises questions about what information the app is collecting, how the information is being secured, and what information is being exchanged at the point of use,” said Alan Butler, senior counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a research center in Washington.

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