[Dave Birch] Driving licences are always a good example to study in the world of digital identity because they are making the transition from dumb to smart, as ID cards are, and could clearly be used to pivot across real and virtual services.  The European Parliament has cleared the way for a new law harmonising EU driving licenses across the European Union, but the new license will not be obligatory until 2033!  There are currently 110 driving licenses held by almost 200 million people – which range in shape, size, the length of time they are granted for and the ease with which they can be counterfeited — so there are obvious efficiencies to come from replacing them.  However, the law will only come into practice in 2013 – when newly-issued driving licenses must be in the new ID1 format – and will then set a firm schedule for replacing all of the old kinds driving licences during the next 26 years.

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It takes time to deliver change on this kind of scale, everyone must accept that.  But 2033?  Why on Earth would the European Parliament imagine that in 2033 the ID1 format, or even "cards" as a whole, will be applicable?  Surely if we are planning a digital identity migration over a timescale like that we should be separating the application from the platform, the interfaces from the data and putting in place a scheme based on a modicum of understanding of technical change.  Of course rolling out EU-wide next-generation driving licences is complicated, but surely targeting a situation where the goal is to deliver technology that already outdated — and may even be obsolete by 2026 — can’t be right.

My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public.
[posted with ecto]

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