But is this really a good idea?
For many people these days, carrying a wallet has become some sort of burden. It wasn’t that long ago people had to draw water from a well, carrying heavy buckets long distances multiple times to fill a tub or perform other tasks we do in mere moments. That evolved laziness in society is opening the opportunity for more centralized control, and while digital driver’s licenses might not seem like that big of a step in that direction, they’re pushing things that way.
Learn how your car spies on you here.
A bill in the Illinois state legislature, which already passed unanimously in a House committee, would establish a digital driver’s license, paving the way for other states to do the same. As the bill is written now, police officers couldn’t go through anything else on a person’s phone when they present the digital ID, so that’s supposed to be you at ease on 4th Amendment violations.
The big selling point behind these digital driver’s licenses is convenience. After all, a lot of people apparently can’t be bothered to carry a wallet anymore thanks to digital wallets on phones. It’s been the dream of authoritarians to eliminate the cash economy, making everything digital and completely trackable. By offering a digital driver’s license, this will likely encourage more people to embrace just such a future.
This theme of surrendering to controlling technologies for convenience, let alone the promise of safety, has been used effectively in dystopian storytelling for some time in great literary works like Brave New World, The Minority Report, even Starship Troopers. Yet so many people eagerly surrender their autonomy so they don’t have to do tasks their ancestors only wished were their greatest burdens.
Thankfully, a local news story highlights that not everyone in Illinois is sold on this digital license proposal. While the main concern cited is that a crash in the system might cause problems, so they miss the forest for the trees on the greater danger, it’s better than pretending everyone is onboard with this idea.
Image via Kindel Media