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.