Utah's New Digital Mobile Driver's License Should Be Setting Off Alarm Bells In Your Head

Have you been eager to live in an ever-expanding digital world where the way you travel, bank, buy alcohol and even the way you deal with traffic stops will be done through an app? Utah is your state and the government there has been busy rolling out a Mobile Drivers License that will serve as a mobile ID, storing all sorts of personal information.

Ahh, but those in charge of this program say it's all safe. No worries.

"We wanted to make sure the technology was at a place that it really could facilitate that level of security and we believe that it’s at that stage now," Chris Cara, director of Utah's Mobile Drivers License program, told Fox 13-Salt Lake City in March.

An image purported to show information that can be stored on the Utah digital driver's license started making its rounds over the weekend and seems to indicate that Utah residents will have the option to include vaccination records on the digital license.

This exact paperwork from Utah's license division has yet to be verified, but there are portions of this image that are 100% fact, according to the state's own websites, including the fact that Utah is a test state for this technology.

What cannot be verified on this alleged program material is that credit scores, taxes, spending and things like social credit scoring "can be added at a later time."

However, social credit scoring is a thing in China where, in Rongcheng, citizens are given 1,000 points to start and points can be deducted for a variety of bad behaviors, according to Wired UK. Good behavior -- donating to charity -- can result in points being added back to one's social credit scoring report.

Of course there are brutal results from a bad social credit score including being banned from buying airline tickets and traveling on certain train lines. "There was no file, no police warrant, no official advance notification. They just cut me off from the things I was once entitled to," a Chinese journalist told The Globe and Mail. "What's really scary is there's nothing you can do about it. You can report to no one. You are stuck in the middle of nowhere."

The ACLU says state legislatures and motor vehicle departments are, as you're seeing in Utah, in the process of making digital driver's licenses a major priority where these licenses would be "stored in smartphones and used in place of the plastic identity cards" you've been using for years.

Once instituted, the ACLU warns, this technology "is likely to have ramifications that quickly extend far beyond a simple replacement of plastic IDs by phones."

Would the U.S. turn into China where an unannounced blacklisting can leave you stranded at an airport? The ACLU said in a recent report that digital driver's licenses could "become an infrastructure for invading privacy and increasing the leverage and control of government agencies and companies over individuals."

Is it far-fetched to think of blue-state governors (looking directly at California) requiring citizens to upload background checks, vaccine records, health records and social credit scoring to a digital ID?

Privacy experts think it's just a matter of time before it's attempted and that Utah is setting the stage for an eventual move to this type of society. Those same experts believe the fight would be on over due process in the Fifth Amendment and "protections against unreasonable searches and seizures in the Fourth Amendment."

You've been warned.

Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.