The New American
by Veronika Kyrylenko
Digital driver’s licenses, which are either under development or already in use in various American states, could include detailed information on licensees such as vaccination records, travel history, tax status, voting history, financial records, and other personal data, ultimately bringing America a step closer to adopting Chinese-style social-credit system.
On Monday, Mississippi announced a new digital identification program that would allow participants to store digital records of their driver’s license, coronavirus vaccination card, and “other documents” on their mobile phone as soon as this month.
Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell explained that the program, which is set to start on November 18, has been in the works for the past couple of years and will allow users to include all types of personal records, such as professional licenses. And this is supposedly “only the beginning.”
Tindell added that the digital ID will be “a great feature for law enforcement,” and would allow the police, for example, to know in advance who they are dealing with during the traffic stops by reading the virtual ID records remotely.
Utah announced earlier this year that it would be the first in the nation to launch a pilot project using a mobile driver’s license (mDL) in 2022, and touted it as a “first step toward moving Utahns’ identities out of their wallets and into the 21st century.”
The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS), which is in charge of the program, explains that mDL is “a secure, contactless digital form of ID that gives citizens control of the personal information they share with businesses,” and can be utilized in “banking, travel, traffic stops, and restaurant and liquor store transactions that require age verification.”
The DPS does not specify what type of records could be tied to the mDL, but an alleged flyer posted on social media on Sunday suggest the list is quite long, and even includes “social credit scoring,” along with “background checks,” “dietary preferences,” and other sensitive information.
The project is set to begin for 100 participants, but will eventually expand to around 10,000 participants later in the year.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports on the “privacy safeguards” of the program:
The ID isn’t just a photo or digital replica of a driver license, which are easily photoshopped…. Instead, Utah’s digital driver licenses would be stored in an encrypted app with other security measures to reduce the potential for fraud or identity theft. The app would be protected by a PIN code, face match or fingerprint.
Businesses like banks or restaurants would be able to use technology to verify the “integrity and authenticity” of an ID through the division’s information database. That could be done through a QR code, a contactless payment reader or even over Bluetooth, according to the division.
Louisiana has already introduced such technology into everyday life, and in fact has had it since 2018. The LA Wallet app allows anyone in the state to add their state-issued ID and COVID vaccination record to the app and use it in place of a physical card anywhere in the state.
CNet has reported on the virtual identity programs underway across the United States, with leaders in implementing such a technology being Utah, Iowa, and Florida, which are expected to implement mDLs sooner than others.
The Associated Press reported earlier this year that the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged the adoption of digital IDs and “sped up the widespread adoption of contactless identification methods by at least a decade.”
Pam Dixon, executive director of the non-profit group World Privacy Forum, told the outlet that “Most people want some kind of a hard token for their identity, but I don’t know how long that will last,” adding, “I would imagine that at some point, maybe in a generation, maybe less, that people will accept a fully digital system.”
Back in March, The New American warned of the increasingly authoritarian tendencies around the world connected to the universal COVID vaccinations and citizens being forced to use their vax cards to participate in regular life.
Some observers note that the program closely aligns with the UN’s digital agenda, which has a great potential of undermining people’s privacy and establishing mass surveillance over the populations.
According to Technocracy News,
A digital identity for every citizen on the globe has been identified by the World Bank and World Economic Forum as an important part in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. The right to a legal identity is a part of Global Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). An effort to achieve this is the ID2020 Alliance. A Public-Private Partnership between United Nations agencies, World Economic Forum, Foundations and Big Tech-corporations. Their grand goal, however, raises some concerns about loss of privacy, mass surveillance and population control. It comes with a price that might have severe implications for the freedom of man.
What was just recently dubbed a “conspiracy theory” is rapidly becoming a reality in the “land of the free,” but it is not too late to avert the danger.
Veronika Kyrylenko, Ph.D. is a research associate at GeoStrategic Analysis (Arlington, Va.) and a freelance writer whose work has appeared at the Western Journal, American Thinker, The Hill and other publications. She can be found on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/nkyrylenko