[LINK] Digital Licenses

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Fri Nov 27 16:29:09 AEDT 2015

Roger Clarke got a mention in this one.  They didn't elaborate on what
he might mean by "privacy issues"

I expect he was talking about the fact that an app on a phone can and
often does do a lot more than what it purports to do, and many apps
send information back to the app's author without notice or permission -
including contacts/address book, call log, and real-time GPS location

Does anyone really want an app capable of sending that data and more
to their state government? or the Federal government.

do we really want RTA employees being able to track in real-time the
location of some young girl who just got their license - or stalk their

I really hope these digital licenses are opt in - without a
prohibitively expensive fee to opt out for people who either don't want
them or don't have a mobile phone (e.g. because they can't afford or
simply don't need one)

Personally, i don't want my license on my phone any more than i
want my credit card details or a banking app on my phone.  Both
applications strike me as being fundamentally insecure things to have
on an easily-stolen / misplaced phone, and only the ignorant would want


NSW motorists won't be fined if their phones aren't charged under digital licence plan

    November 26, 2015 - 6:52PM 

Keegan Thomson

A flat phone battery might lead to a fine.

Correction: After this story was published, Service NSW clarified that
motorists would not be fined if their batteries were flat and they were
unable to present their digital license to authorities.*

Drivers will not be slapped with fines if their smartphone has no charge
when their identity is being checked under a NSW government plan to
digitise licences.

The state government announced on Wednesday that it would be rolling
out digital driver's licences by the end of 2018, with the first batch
- the responsible service of alcohol (RSA), the responsible conduct of
gambling (RSG) and recreational fishing licences - being digitised in
mid-2016.  A supplied mock up of what a digital driver's licence might
look like in late 2018.

A supplied mock up of what a digital driver's licence might look like in
late 2018.

While there were fears among the community that some people would be
fined if their battery went flat, the state government said this would
not be the case.

"Motorists and others will not be fined if their phone battery is simply
flat," a Service NSW spokesman said. "The current design involves
responsible authorities having the ability to verify the fact that you
hold a valid licence in the case where your battery is flat.

"Digital driver's licences are three years away, due to be delivered at
the end of 2018.  A mock up of NSW digital licences coming mid-2016.

A mock up of NSW digital licences coming mid-2016. Photo: Supplied

"In that time specific agency policies will be reviewed and updated as
part of the project where required."

The government said it hoped to save money from the scheme.

"Over time the digital licence program will lead to cost savings across
government," a spokesperson for Service NSW said.

"The full extent of savings will be understood once adoption rates are

The initial wide scale roll out of the digital licences will cost around
$23 million in capital expenditure and approximately $5 million in
operational expenditure, a spokesperson from Services NSW confirmed on

Chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, Dr Roger Clarke, voiced
his concerns about the privacy issues the digital licence system might
expose. "How much information will be available? What exactly will be on
the phone? Will it be all of your licence? Will it simply be a picture
of your licence? We don't actually know how much information will be
hosted in the system," he said.

Dr Clarke also said he was worried not enough research had been done
into digital licences, which are in the process of being rolled out in
select US states like Iowa and Delaware.

"The one fundamental thing we need is a safety evaluation of the
proposed system, but that information has not been made public. We need
an analysis of the potential weaknesses of these systems so they don't
end up biting people in the backside," Dr Clarke said.

* Asked what would happen if someone's phone's battery died or wasn't
working and police requested their ID, Service NSW's initial statement
said: "Where the agencies responsible for administering and regulating
licences have specific policies on non-presentation of licences, those
same policies will apply to digital licences." The story has since been

with Ben Grubb

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