In March, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), through its National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, announced that it was seeking feedback from all stakeholders in the digital identity sector regarding a project examining the use of such ID on mobile devices.
Mobile devices have become convenient platforms for many uses such as making payments, checking in to a flight, or storing event tickets. More recently, demand has surfaced to use mobile devices to replace physical identification cards, such as government issued driver’s licenses, with a digital equivalent.
In April 2021, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published a request for information in the Federal Register seeking information about security standards and technologies concerning mobile driver’s licenses. TSA is interested in mobile driver’s licenses because, compared to physical driver’s licenses, mobile driver’s licenses could provide greater security to TSA and all federal agencies verifying an individual’s identity, stronger privacy protections to individuals, and health and safety benefits to all users by enabling touchless identity verification.
Standards for new digital credentials are now emerging that can support both greater individual control of identity attributes and immediate validation with issuing sources. This provides the potential for both improved usability and convenience for the end user and stronger assurance in identity for organizations.
On March 23, 2022, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport became the first airport to deploy a new technology that allows airline passengers to use their state-issued mobile driver’s license or mobile identification card in Apple Wallet on iPhone or Apple Watch to verify their identity for airport security screening purposes. At the time, TSA Administrator David Pekoske said he expected the airport to be the first of many to feature this innovation. Indeed, Maryland joined Arizona as the second state to offer this feature in May 2022 and the latest adoptee is the State of Georgia which announced on May 18 that it was preparing to deploy the technology this month.
Running alongside the Apple program, TSA, the Utah Driver License Division and GET Group North America announced that in March this year that TSA would accept Utah mobile driver’s licenses via the GET Mobile app as a valid travel credential in TSA PreCheck lines at select airports around the country.