B.C. Government Developing Smartphone App to Authenticate Your Identity


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New technology developed by the government of British Columbia will allow residents to use their driver’s licenses to access public services.

The government is developing an app that will allow people to tap their new high-tech driver’s licences against their smartphones to authenticate their identity. This will allow them to securely login to various government websites and services. In an interview, B.C. chief information officer Bette-Jo Hughes said:

“You download the app, you put your card on your phone and it reads it. We’ve got that for Android operating systems now, we’re still working on the Apple version of that because the Apple operating system isn’t open to allow us to do that. But we’re working on that, and thinking in the next year we’ll be able to do that.”

Hughes said the goal is to one day have a system that allows residents to tap their card, enter a PIN number, and instantly access secure government websites, like their eHealth medical records.

The new high-tech card, which is a part of a $150 million project, combines a driver’s licence and Care Card into one piece of ID. The card contains a chip, much like those used by debit cards, to store various information about the resident.

The province has distributed 3.4 million cards to date and plans to have full enrollment within the next year.

[via MobileSyrup]


  • BCEd

    Won’t work on iPhones as Apple does not allow third party access to NFC chip

  • Why won’t it work with touch I

    Why won’t it work with touch ID

  • Quattro

    — allow residents to “user” their driver’s “licences” —

    This “computer scientist” sure ain’t got much good the english

  • Quattro

    How often does the average person log in to a government website – especially from their phone? $150 million is a lot for that “convenience”.

  • Marco

    Why can’t they use Touch ID? Fingerprint sensor is way more secure and you don’t have to worry about tapping using your DL and logging using your pin. Seems waste of taxpayer $150 mil. They should have done a survey first with BC population before forking out that much of our money.

  • Marco


  • Marco

    totally agree…

  • Jason

    Why not build an app that replaces the physical drivers licence…

  • Mamba

    Not sure how this cost $150 mil, for just basically an identification verification process….

  • Quattro

    Well – at least somebody partially fixed it with an edit.

  • artikas

    This would only be beneficial if I could use the app to prove my identity like a digital drivers license at liquor stores and such otherwise, i agree, what a wast of tax payer money. Last i checked the public schools were begging for money.

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    I am thinking they will eventually so we could access our buildings, our cars, etc… Still. I prefer replacing driver’s licences with my iPhone.