Digital ID usage builds in Colorado as Apple pushes nationwide rollout

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) – Coloradans have been using digital identification imaging since 2019. Apple is now pushing to take the trend nationwide.

The tech giant wants to allow consumers to take pictures of their tangible ID cards to upload to the Wallet app. The new announcement has the Problem Solvers asking Denver bar owners if Coloradans are using the myColorado ID smart phone app.

Tangible wallets are quickly becoming unnecessary in this digital age. Smart phones allow people to tap and pay, check medical test results, and– since the end of 2019 in Colorado– phones can prove people are who they say they are.

Randy Long, who owns BoyzTown Denver, a bar on South Broadway, said he welcomes digital IDs.

“We check everybody’s ID coming in, anyway, whether it’s digital or the hard copy,” Long said.

Long and his colleagues are still seeing, by far, more hard copies. However, more and more people are starting to flash their smart phones, he said. At Li’l Devils Lounge in Denver, Kevin Brooks remembers the first time he saw a digital ID.

“I was unsure on how to handle that,” Brooks recalled.

Some restaurant managers in metro Denver told FOX31 they are not ready to accept digital IDs yet. They simply don’t feel comfortable despite state government backing. The Denver Police Department said its officers accept the digital images from the myColorado app.

“It’s convenient,” said computer science professor Steve Beaty. “Most people tend to walk around with their phones.”

Beaty chairs the computer science department at Metropolitan State University of Denver. The FOX31 Problem Solvers asked him about concerns over hacking.

“I do believe there are some risks there,” he said.

But Beaty also said officials are always working to mitigate those risks. Beaty said state ID databases have existed online well before this digital ID evolution. There’s long been a theoretical hacking risk, he said.

“Rolling it out nationwide, I think is not a bad idea in the grand scheme of things,” Beaty said.

Professor Beaty said it’s not a bad idea to setup phones for two-factor authentication to add an extra level of security.

Apple said it’s working with the TSA on a system federal officials will support. There’s no timeline just yet on when travelers might be able to use digital IDs to board flights.

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