Written by: Deric Ma – The Pro Forum Community of Practice
As technology continues to reshape various aspects of our lives, it was only a matter of time before it reached our traditional driver’s licences. Currently New South Wales and South Australia have adapted to using digital driver’s licences, the rest of the Australian states are slowly trialling digital driver’s licences with some states aiming to complete their rollout in 2024. The concept of carrying your driver’s licence on your smartphone might seem appealing, but it also comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
The Advantages of Digital Driver Licences:
Convenience and Accessibility
One of the primary advantages of digital driver licences is the convenience they offer. People tend to have their smartphones with them all the time, making it easier to access their licences whenever needed. No more worries about leaving your physical licence behind. It’s an innovative step that streamlines identification processes and brings the country closer to a seamless digital experience.
With digital licences, updating personal information or renewing the licence becomes more streamlined. Users can receive real-time updates and notifications, ensuring their credentials are always up-to-date. Renewing licences will also be quicker and easier as payments can be done online and the digital licence will be updated immediately, no more waiting at TMR provided you don’t need your photo taken. This potentially would have been helpful when millions of Australian were waiting in line for a new driver’s licence after the Optus data breach.
Digital driver licences can incorporate advanced security features, such as biometric authentication, passcodes, and encryption, making them potentially more secure than traditional physical licences, which can be susceptible to forgery.
Challenges and Considerations:
Battery and Technical Issues
Unlike physical licences, digital driver licences rely on smartphones, which can run out of battery or experience technical glitches. If someone’s phone dies or malfunctions, they might face difficulties proving their identity in crucial situations. Elderly individuals or people not well-versed in using smartphones might also find it challenging to navigate the digital services effectively.
Privacy and Data Security Concerns
Storing sensitive personal information on digital platforms raises legitimate concerns about data security and privacy. It becomes imperative for the government and technology providers to ensure robust security measures to protect user data from unauthorised access or hacking attempts. Unfortunately South Australians with digital licences were a victim to hackers when they gained access to the mySA GO website and application. South Australians were encouraged to change their driver’s license numbers after hackers breach the account.
Australia’s Path to a Digital Future:
With several states and territories already piloting digital driver licences, Australia is taking a phased and cautious approach to implementing this digital transformation. The government collaborates closely with technology providers to ensure security, privacy, and inclusivity in the process.
As Australians embrace digital driver licences, we will witness a transformation on how we interact with authorities, access services, and navigate our daily lives. By addressing the challenges and capitalising on the advantages, Australia takes another step toward a technologically advanced future.
What are your opinions with digital licences? Do embrace the change? Do you already have a digital licence? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.