The FAQs of a DDL – Chapter Three: When Technology has a No Good, Very Bad Day

We all surely remember reading at some point about poor, little Alexander and his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. From the moment he wakes up to find gum stuck in his hair and proceeds to trip on his skateboard, it seems that absolutely nothing can go right for the unfortunate lad as he trudges through his normal daily activities.

Though this 1970s classic children’s book is simplistic in nature, I think it is safe to say that we can all identify with his mishap-filled day. Even with modern-day technology to remind us of important events, meetings or appointments; to tell us what time to leave the house to arrive at said appointment; and with our beloved virtual assistants, Siri and OK Google, to help with anything along the way: we still find ourselves running late, lost, confused, and wishing we too could pack up and head for Australia.

So what happens when you bring something as important as your form of identity into the grown-up version of a calamity-filled day? When you need your driver’s license, the last thing you want to have to frantically tell someone, as you come up empty handed, is “Sorry, it’s just one of those days!” This dreaded feeling is no different if your driver’s license were to reside on your smartphone.

Studies have shown that most Americans notice the absence of their smartphone within two minutes of misplacing it, however that time increases to an average of 90 minutes when it comes to their physical wallet. While this is encouraging for the forgetful folly most of us display from time to time, what do you do when technology itself is to blame for the no good, very bad day?

 

Question:

What happens if my phone battery dies when I need to use my DDL?

 My answer:

Displaying something on your screen – including your DDL – requires the phone to have power. There is not much you can do when your phone’s battery is fully drained. Think of this as the digital equivalent of forgetting your wallet with your physical license at home: you can’t pull it out and show it to someone if it is sitting on your nightstand. As with any adoption of new technology, consumer behavior will naturally adjust in time. If you intend to use your DDL as your primary form of ID, you will likely ensure that your phone is charged or that you keep a charger with you in the event that you find yourself running low on battery. Additionally, there are some workarounds that the DDL could offer. For example, with the backend verification system that the DDL brings, a law enforcement official could manually key in your DL number to at least validate your credentials in a sticky situation.

 

Question:

What happens if my smartphone is lost or stolen with my DDL on it?

 My answer:

This is one strong benefit that a DDL brings to the table. If you lose your traditional DL, anyone who finds it can read all of your personal information and use it however they want. Additionally, the chance of recovery is slim-to-none as there are no tracking mechanisms that you can use with a plastic card. Most smartphone users have in place some kind of device tracking application, such as Find My iPhone or Where’s My Droid, that allows them to self-locate their device in the event that it is misplaced. And if you can locate your phone, you can recover your lost ID. Also with DDL, you have peace of mind knowing that your data is secure. The application that is used to access your DDL data is only accessible by entering your pin or scanning your fingerprint. So it can’t be viewed or used by would-be fraudsters or identity thieves. As a last resort, if your phone is non-recoverable, the personal data can also be remotely wiped providing one additional layer of security.

 

Question:

What if I buy a new phone or switch mobile network operators?

My answer:

Our DDL solution operates across all platforms and on most smartphone devices, including the latest released versions. The application is available both for iOS and Android. The solution itself is not dependent on a mobile operator/carrier, so it doesn’t matter which network the end-consumer subscribes to. If you make a change in either your device or your carrier, you simply download the DDL application on your new device (or transfer your apps from your previous device), and your DDL can be re-loaded onto your new phone once you have verified your fingerprint or PIN settings.

 

Question:

What if I don’t have cell phone service or signal when I need to use my DDL?

My answer:

Gemalto’s DDL is not dependent on a cell phone signal, as the encrypted data required to display your DDL resides within your device itself. It doesn’t require access to an online portal to retrieve your information once your DDL has been loaded on your phone. Validation of your license and sharing of your attributes (such as your DOB to purchase age-restricted goods) occurs locally, between your device and the verification device. So you can rest assured that even when you are having a “Can you hear me now?” moment, your DDL will still be accessible and usable.

 

To read more about American smartphone dependence and how mobility trends relate to DDL, download our Driving Innovation through Mobility infographic here.

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