Apple wants your iPhone to replace your passport and driver's license

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2020
The next step in Apple's goal of making the iPhone the sole thing anyone has to carry, continues with the device being able to securely replace passports, driver's licenses, and other physical forms of identification.

Printed passports may become a thing of the past
Printed passports may become a thing of the past


Apple most recently announced a plan to rid the world of car keys, but the iPhone has already made us forget what it's like to carry diaries, cameras, pens, and even mirrors. Now the company is focusing on getting rid of passports -- plus library cards, ski passes, and ID cards in general.

A series of slightly different patent applications, all entitled "Providing Verified Claims of User Identity," detail methods by which a user's ID can be recorded or transmitted -- and confirmed. Apple does not use the word iPhone once, but instead refers hundreds of times to devices that could be any piece of technology.

"A device implementing a system for using a verified claim of identity includes at least one processor configured to receive a verified claim including information to identify a user of a device," says one such application, "the verified claim being signed by a server based on verification of the information by an identity verification provider separate from the server, the verified claim being specific to the device."

Under this proposal, a device such as an iPhone could securely transmit some form of ID. If the owner of the device is already verified, say by the biometric sensors in Apple Watch, that verifies the ID being sent.

While Apple's application chiefly refers to passports, it's intended that one system be used for many things. "[This] allows a user to obtain a verified claim of identity that serves as a digital identity for the user, that includes information for identifying the user (e.g., information that was provided by the user and verified by one or more systems), and that can be re-used across different service providers," says the application.

The five borderline-identical patent applications discuss features such as the user's choice to opt-in to providing ID, and technical details of how the data can be securely transmitted. All five are credited to the same six inventors, including Christopher Sharp and Gianpaolo Fasoli, both of whom have prior related patents such as "Data verification via independent processors of a device."

That, Sharp's other patent regarding "Methods and apparatus for user authentication and human intent verification in mobile devices," and these five are far from Apple's first research into iPhone as ID.

Detail from the patent showing that ID may be securely transmitted and received by every type of Apple device
Detail from the patent showing that ID may be securely transmitted and received by every type of Apple device


Previously, Apple has worked on secure ways of presenting government ID, and it has worked with both German and UK governments to help local identification projects.

Apple's vice president of internet services and Apple Pay, has publicly said that the company wants to provide ID, but also that it's difficult.

"Identity, to be legal, it has to be government, it has to be authenticated by the government," she said in 2019. "We see, across the globe, many countries starting to use mobile to add a passport.

"You may use a mobile passport when you're going through airports today, and so it is moving and I think it will continue," she added. "So it's not too far away, it just won't be as fast as some of the other activities we have."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,712member
    And yet here in the backwaters I haven't even replaced my credit and debit cards with my iPhone as of yet.
    dysamoriamuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 2 of 41
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,738member
    I'd love to have this info on my phone. Helpful for showing my license to buy alcohol at a bar or store. However, whatever is implemented needs to keep the phone in my possession. I am not handing over my phone to a police officer at a traffic stop for him to take back to the patrol car. Whatever agency is looking at the ID (police, TSA etc.) needs to be able to scan a bar code or 3D matrix code that gives them the info.
    GG1beeble42dysamoriajony0Deelronkpomzoetmbh2phcrefugeebeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 3 of 41
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,541member
    Excellent as a back up mechanism. I use plastic credit card but also use Apple pay.
    Xedhcrefugee
  • Reply 4 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Would be fine if used as an emergency backup, but it’s not at all a smart idea to hand your phone to a government employee working for ANY government.
    CloudTalkinDeelronhcrefugeeRayz2016rob53bonobobbbh
  • Reply 5 of 41
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,250member
    DAalseth said:
    And yet here in the backwaters I haven't even replaced my credit and debit cards with my iPhone as of yet.
    I routinely use Apple pay in small towns. IME, the adoption rate in smaller towns is the same as in the larger cities.

    I have a copy of my license scanned in to 1Password; it's not considered official or legal documentation, but at least if I get stopped and forgot my license it's something I can show the police.
    edited July 2020 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 41
    boxcatcherboxcatcher Posts: 239member
    There’s apparently an ISO spec in draft that involves OpenID Connect so that the person presenting an ID can choose which bits of information to share. For cases where the internet isn’t available, it’ll use Bluetooth/WiFi (think AirDrop) for sharing info.

     The bitch, in the US, is still how each State gets to set its own Drivers License policy, so it’ll take many years for everyone to be able to use this, even after it’s released.
    edited July 2020 williamlondonuroshnorRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 41
    M68000M68000 Posts: 365member
    No thanks.  Having a central point of failure (everything on one device) is not cool.  No fun if device goes missing.  What if it gets hacked too?  As somebody else said,  don’t like idea of handing over phone ... it getting dropped.  I would rather drop it.    On a side note,  I tried to post on the website for this forum and it does not render correctly or work.  Does anybody know how to get rid of dark mode on the full website version too?
    williamlondonDAalseth
  • Reply 8 of 41
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,541moderator
    M68000 said:
    No thanks.  Having a central point of failure (everything on one device) is not cool.  No fun if device goes missing.
    That's what a physical passport and driver's license are. Forgetting or losing a passport can be a big problem on vacation and it happens to a lot of people, especially when people have to remember children's passports. The following says over 54,000 emergency passports needed to be issued in 2017 and more will have missed flights because of it:



    No need for that at all if there's a passport on the phone. It could also make issuing an emergency passport easier because they can send it to the phone, depending on how the id verification works. The id can use Face id and store an encoded sample of the face then match that to the person.

    I doubt people would use it as the only id because the phone can run out of battery or also be stolen but it would be a great backup to have. Boarding passes for flights are already on phones and a lot of the time a passport isn't even checked now so it makes sense to put the passport on the phone too. The main concern would be avoiding fraudulent passports but the ids will also be stored centrally so a scanner can easily check photo and numbers if they are fake.
    williamlondonDeelronGeorgeBMacRayz2016muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 41
    XedXed Posts: 1,027member
    wood1208 said:
    Excellent as a back up mechanism. I use plastic credit card but also use Apple pay.
    Yep. As Marvin confirms, this could be a huge amount of time and money saved for both the passport holder, passport offices, and US embassies and consulates. I had an issue once in the UK with a missing passport which cost me a lost flight (no idea of the airline got their money for my seat, but they put me on another flight for free once my passport was obtained), and having to set up at an airport hotel for several days.
    edited July 2020 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 41
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,452member
    I already use Wallet App to board an airplane. Why not add Passport and Real ID drivers license to the mix for convenience? At the airport it's still a mixed bag. I'd say a slight majority download their boarding pass to their phone. Some have the boarding pass they printed out on their home computer. Still others clutch the standard boarding pass they got when checking in with a live agent or kiosk.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 41
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,712member
    MplsP said:
    DAalseth said:
    And yet here in the backwaters I haven't even replaced my credit and debit cards with my iPhone as of yet.
    I routinely use Apple pay in small towns. IME, the adoption rate in smaller towns is the same as in the larger cities.

    I have a copy of my license scanned in to 1Password; it's not considered official or legal documentation, but at least if I get stopped and forgot my license it's something I can show the police.
    I tried ApplePay on my SE. It worked once, The store was the local Apple dealer so they were definitely set up, and walked me through the process of using it. I tried it about three other times that weekend at other stores. I couldn't get it to work and the clerks were clueless. I haven't tried it again on my 11 simply because I know my chip card will work. I've also been checking out when other people pay for things and have yet to see anyone else use their phone. 

     I suspect it's a local thing, even though Nanaimo is pretty big and prides itself on being a very tech savvy city. It was only last year that my Credit Union finally let their MasterCards be entered into ApplePay, and their Debit card is still MIA.
  • Reply 12 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    DAalseth said:
    MplsP said:
    DAalseth said:
    And yet here in the backwaters I haven't even replaced my credit and debit cards with my iPhone as of yet.
    I routinely use Apple pay in small towns. IME, the adoption rate in smaller towns is the same as in the larger cities.

    I have a copy of my license scanned in to 1Password; it's not considered official or legal documentation, but at least if I get stopped and forgot my license it's something I can show the police.
    I tried ApplePay on my SE. It worked once, The store was the local Apple dealer so they were definitely set up, and walked me through the process of using it. I tried it about three other times that weekend at other stores. I couldn't get it to work and the clerks were clueless. I haven't tried it again on my 11 simply because I know my chip card will work. I've also been checking out when other people pay for things and have yet to see anyone else use their phone. 

     I suspect it's a local thing, even though Nanaimo is pretty big and prides itself on being a very tech savvy city. It was only last year that my Credit Union finally let their MasterCards be entered into ApplePay, and their Debit card is still MIA.
    Every retailer I visit I always check if Apple Pay is available and if it’s not I ask them why. Even if I went there before and it didn’t work, I ask them again. I hope they’ll get the hint eventually.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 41
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,429member
    mike1 said:
    I'd love to have this info on my phone. Helpful for showing my license to buy alcohol at a bar or store. However, whatever is implemented needs to keep the phone in my possession. I am not handing over my phone to a police officer at a traffic stop for him to take back to the patrol car. Whatever agency is looking at the ID (police, TSA etc.) needs to be able to scan a bar code or 3D matrix code that gives them the info.
    This is what I came here to comment. Totally agreed with you. I can just see the “I needed to take his license and while I had his phone, I found pot in his phone” or whatever. I’m not targeted by cops the same way others are but I STILL don’t trust them one iota. 
    williamlondonbonobob
  • Reply 14 of 41
    DAalseth said:

    ...even though Nanaimo...
    Nanaimo?! Canadian friend of mine introduced me to a lovely bar dessert couple of years ago, delicious! Total aside, apologies for straying from topic, but couldn't help myself. :-)
    DAalsethRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 41
    Combined with CarKey - doesn't let you drive if you don't have a valid driver's licence. That's gonna happen sooner or later anyway, with Apple or without.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 41
    uroshnoruroshnor Posts: 96member
    M68000 said:
    No thanks.  Having a central point of failure (everything on one device) is not cool.  No fun if device goes missing.  What if it gets hacked too?  As somebody else said,  don’t like idea of handing over phone ... it getting dropped.  I would rather drop it.    On a side note,  I tried to post on the website for this forum and it does not render correctly or work.  Does anybody know how to get rid of dark mode on the full website version too?
    This very likely does not involve unlocking the phone or handing it over - the interaction experience will probably be very similar to Apple Pay - just tap a reader, and it’s sorted.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 41
    Leeloo Dallas Multipass!
    SpamSandwichfastasleepentropysrob53watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 41
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,584member
    The problem with all this, aside from what posters have already mentioned is that until it's absolutely guaranteed universal, you still have to carry a passport, driver's license, credit/debit cards, etc.    For Apple to be able to replace a driver's license, they would have to deal with every jurisdiction in the world.   That's a tall order, even just considering the U.S.    And they'll always be the cop who doesn't know that an electronic driver's license is okay and will give you a big hassle over it and you know they'll want to take the phone back to the police car.   

    There are lots of retailers near me that don't take Apple Pay.   In fact, I was in a LensCrafters today and they didn't take it.   Last time I was in Home Depot, they stilll didn't take it.   I got ApplePay to work once at a Chase ATM and it's never worked since.    

    I have a photo of my medical insurance ID's on my phone.   But the offices I go to won't accept it.  They want the actual card because they put it on the Xerox machine to make a copy.   

    When I first started using ApplePay, I went about a week not carrying a wallet, but had issues.   So now I'm still carrying a wallet, albeit a thinner one, and I think it's going to be many years before I don't have to. 

    But it would be great as a backup.    My passport once fell out of my shoulder bag inside the X-ray machine.  I was already on the plane when I was notified of such and I had to get off the plane, go back through Security to retrieve the passport, then go back through security and rush back to the plane.   I almost didn't make it.   if they hadn't found it, I would have entered Europe without a passport.  They probably would have sent me back.  

    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 19 of 41
    gregalexandergregalexander Posts: 1,399member
    We have this for drivers license in NSW Australia currently.
    https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/nsw-digital-driver-licence

    It's great having the License on the phone, and since 99.9% of shops accept tap-and-go (Apple Pay) I now leave home without my wallet half the time, and it's reducing.

    Knowing I can call it up (& other licenses) is useful. I pay for almost everything with my Apple Watch, but there is still one great Sushi shop near work that doesn't take cards. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 41
    Manish_SManish_S Posts: 1member
    Such a technology is available in India through a government application (available on both Android and iOS), called DigiLocker. It lets everyone show most government documents, including Driver License, Aadhar card (social security equivalent), Mark sheets, Birth certificates, etc. It will generate a QR code that can be scanned for authentication. It is treated equal to the original document and can be shown at any office. It is illegal to deny that as the document within India. Passports have not included as it is not used within India alone, but requires other country co-operation as well.
    watto_cobra
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