Apple tightly controlling Apple Wallet digital drivers license feature

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2021
Newly obtained documents have shed some light on the agreements between Apple and state governments for storing digital IDs in Apple Wallet -- and the tight control Apple has over the feature's rollout.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The digital ID compatibility with Apple Wallet will initially launch in a handful of U.S. states, including Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. Through public record requests and other sources, CNBC has obtained documents detailing the agreements in place with those states.

Those documents indicate that Apple is maintaining a high level of control over the entire process. In fact, the documents indicate that Apple has the "sole discretion" over the rollout of the feature and the under-the-hood technology that powers it.

States that agree to support digital IDs in Apple Wallet must "allocate reasonably sufficient personnel and resources (e.g., staff, project management and funding) to support the launch of the Program on a timeline to be determined by Apple," the documents show.

This will include states allocating staff and resources to perform quality testing to ensure that the feature works "in accordance with Apple's certification requirements."

The agreement also mandates that states "prominently feature the Program in all public-facing communications relating to Digital Identity Credentials." States must also grant Apple "prior review and approval" of all marketing materials related to the program.

Additionally, states must also help bolster adoption of the feature with "key stakeholders in federal and state government," including the Internal Revenue Service, state and local law enforcements, and businesses that require age verification.

When it comes to actually verifying identification, Apple leaves all of the responsibility to the states, stating in the documents that "Apple shall not be liable for any Verification Results, and Agency acknowledges that all Verification Results are provided AS IS and without any warranty, express, implied or otherwise, regarding its accuracy or performance."

It also appears that states -- and, therefore, taxpayers -- will have to foot the bill for the feature. The agreement says that "except as otherwise agreed upon between the Parties, neither Party shall owe the other Party any fees under this Agreement."

Apple first announced the digital ID feature at WWDC 2021. It will allow users to add their state driver's licenses or identification cards to Apple Wallet for easy identity verification via iPhone.

Initially, the feature appeared narrowly focused on identity verification at TSA checkpoints. However, the agreements with the states suggest that Apple's plan likely also includes age verification at bars or convenience stores, as well as identity checks at traffic stops.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,044member
    You still need a physical card handy for driving across states.
    jahblade
  • Reply 2 of 25
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,918member
    fallenjt said:
    You still need a physical card handy for driving across states.
    What country do you live in? I don’t have to show my drivers license anywhere except at hotels. I haven’t been asked for my DL when using a credit card in years. Last I heard there aren’t any border stops on highways. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 25
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,918member
    I like and appreciate Apple’s process. It’s a ton better than anything I’ve seen on the web as far as documenting and specifying rules and processes for a digital ID. Apple can’t give away the control of the iPhone to anyone else no matter what Congress says. Congress doesn’t control or own the iPhone. If Congress wants control they can buy everyone an iPhone and manage it like companies can but they are not allowed by law to control my devices. I will find the statute that says this if pressed and I’m sure I could find it. I’ll just ask my lawyer daughter to find it. 
    jas99scstrrfwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 25
    rob53 said:
    fallenjt said:
    You still need a physical card handy for driving across states.
    What country do you live in? I don’t have to show my drivers license anywhere except at hotels. I haven’t been asked for my DL when using a credit card in years. Last I heard there aren’t any border stops on highways. 
    If you get pulled over in a state that doesn’t support digital ID, you need a physical card. If you so happen to be asked for ID when buying drinks (not everyone is old enough to not be asked), in a state that doesn’t support digital ID, you need a physical ID. Until it’s accepted in every state, you should keep your physical card. 
    BeatslolliverjahbladeGeorgeBMacgeorgie01williamh
  • Reply 5 of 25
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,913member
    Anticompetitive.

    I should be able to sell my fraudulent IDs to minors that edit the birthdate. Apple is hurting my scam business!!!!!
    lolliverscstrrfGeorgeBMacbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,918member
    Beats said:
    Anticompetitive.

    I should be able to sell my fraudulent IDs to minors that edit the birthdate. Apple is hurting my scam business!!!!!
    Exactly why Apple needs total control of the server and ID security aspects of the system. Of course someone will figure out a way to violate the system but it won’t be NSA, FBI or CIA doing it full time. Scammers like you (/s) will continue to make a little bit of money selling IDs to kids but won’t be able to grab lots of IDs to sell globally. 
    lolliverjahbladeBeats
  • Reply 7 of 25
    byronlbyronl Posts: 230member
    i’m still waited for IDs based on the blockchain instead of a centralized company
    but apple is still the best company to do it
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 25
    Identification and Authentication devices and their functionality, at least when relied upon by government entities like police, sound like a technology that state legislatures (or perhaps the Feds, since I&A is frequently performed across state lines) should regulate, rather than corporations. Legislatures already control the production of physical IDs, so I'm not sure why they don't want to control the rules pertaining to digital IDs.

    See? I'm not always on Apple's side. But when it comes to App Store rules, I still don't see a role for legislatures in that.

  • Reply 9 of 25
    www.cnbc.com/2021/11/14/apple-sticking-taxpayers-with-part-of-the-bill-for-digital-id-rollout.html
    www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/08/if-you-build-it-they-will-come-apple-has-opened-backdoor-increased-surveillance
    edited November 2021 williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 25
    So, pretty much all of the things a state would need to do to implement a digital ID, or app, of its own -- allocating personnel, resources to development and testing, as well as driving internal and external adoption-- don't magically go away if Apple is involved.  Quite obvious, to anyone but the author.  Taxpayers will be paying the cost for digital IDs regardless of whether Apple is involved, or not.

    ID verification is the ultimate responsibility of the issuing authority of the credential, and that does not change either.  I suspect most people don't have any issues with that, versus placing that in the hands of a private company like Apple.

    That leaves the queston of control.  It can be argued that Apple is trying to exert too much control.  On the flip side, Apple is trying its best to not allow the governments to affect its user experience, and at least enforce some minimum standards it sets for its platform.  As a practical matter, which is more likely to successfully develop and manage such a project, meeting budgetary, technical and scheduling goals?  Bet on the government, or Apple?  Hmmm…perhaps not a tough question in many minds.  The success, or more pointedly, the lack thereof, of the mishmash of COVID passport apps might provide some clues.

    There are definitely tradeoffs involved, and no right or wrong answers, but couching it as the evil Apple taking states and taxpayers for a ride isn't quite justified by the story, or the facts.

    Ultimately, states, as well as individuals, are free to participate, or not, in such a program.
    GeorgeBMacgeorgie01Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 25
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    rob53 said:
    fallenjt said:
    You still need a physical card handy for driving across states.
    What country do you live in? I don’t have to show my drivers license anywhere except at hotels. I haven’t been asked for my DL when using a credit card in years. Last I heard there aren’t any border stops on highways. 

    Explain that to the cop in the next state who just pulled you over.  I'm sure he'll understand.
    georgie01Beats
  • Reply 12 of 25
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Identification and Authentication devices and their functionality, at least when relied upon by government entities like police, sound like a technology that state legislatures (or perhaps the Feds, since I&A is frequently performed across state lines) should regulate, rather than corporations. Legislatures already control the production of physical IDs, so I'm not sure why they don't want to control the rules pertaining to digital IDs.

    See? I'm not always on Apple's side. But when it comes to App Store rules, I still don't see a role for legislatures in that.


    Apple is sinking its own money and resources into developing this system.  They don't want politicized and inept state legislatures f-n up the system.  They want it to work and they are the ones who know how to do it.

    Apple needs to lead the way here -- because they are the only ones capable of pulling it off.
    georgie01watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 25
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,034member
    Weird to say that Apple have "sole discretion" over rollout.  If states want to pull it, they'll obviously be able to.  Hell, they could just refuse the verification step and the feature is dead.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 25
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    citpeks said:
    So, pretty much all of the things a state would need to do to implement a digital ID, or app, of its own -- allocating personnel, resources to development and testing, as well as driving internal and external adoption-- don't magically go away if Apple is involved.  Quite obvious, to anyone but the author.  Taxpayers will be paying the cost for digital IDs regardless of whether Apple is involved, or not.

    ID verification is the ultimate responsibility of the issuing authority of the credential, and that does not change either.  I suspect most people don't have any issues with that, versus placing that in the hands of a private company like Apple.

    That leaves the queston of control.  It can be argued that Apple is trying to exert too much control.  On the flip side, Apple is trying its best to not allow the governments to affect its user experience, and at least enforce some minimum standards it sets for its platform.  As a practical matter, which is more likely to successfully develop and manage such a project, meeting budgetary, technical and scheduling goals?  Bet on the government, or Apple?  Hmmm…perhaps not a tough question in many minds.  The success, or more pointedly, the lack thereof, of the mishmash of COVID passport apps might provide some clues.

    There are definitely tradeoffs involved, and no right or wrong answers, but couching it as the evil Apple taking states and taxpayers for a ride isn't quite justified by the story, or the facts.

    Ultimately, states, as well as individuals, are free to participate, or not, in such a program.

    Exactly!
    CNBC approached this as if it were a profit making venture for Apple.  It isn't.  It's a service that everybody (except Apple) benefits from.  In fact, it is costing Apple's shareholders the cost of development and maintenance.

    Obviously Apple reaps no profit from this.  So, CNBC instead attempted to claim:
    "The end result is that states bear the burden of maintaining technology systems at taxpayer expense, a move that ultimately benefits Apple and its shareholders by making its devices even more essential than they already are."

    I'm disappointed in CNBC.  They generally avoid false arguments like that in order to push and agenda.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 25
    Exactly!
    CNBC approached this as if it were a profit making venture for Apple.  It isn't.  It's a service that everybody (except Apple) benefits from.  In fact, it is costing Apple's shareholders the cost of development and maintenance.

    Obviously Apple reaps no profit from this.  So, CNBC instead attempted to claim:
    "The end result is that states bear the burden of maintaining technology systems at taxpayer expense, a move that ultimately benefits Apple and its shareholders by making its devices even more essential than they already are."

    I'm disappointed in CNBC.  They generally avoid false arguments like that in order to push and agenda.
    I was with you until you said CNBC generally avoids false arguments. I’m not sure how anyone could be watching any of the mainstream news outlets over the last 1.5 years and believe they avoid false arguments and also be an individually thinking person. News nowadays is little more than agenda pushing underneath a news-like surface.
    sbdudewilliamhBeatswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 25
    sbdudesbdude Posts: 147member

    I'm disappointed in CNBC.  They generally avoid false arguments like that in order to push and agenda.

    How often do you read or watch CNBC? This is par for the course now.
    williamhwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 25
    rob53 said:
    fallenjt said:
    You still need a physical card handy for driving across states.
    What country do you live in? I don’t have to show my drivers license anywhere except at hotels. I haven’t been asked for my DL when using a credit card in years. Last I heard there aren’t any border stops on highways. 
    You don't get out much do you?

    Besides hotels, voter ID, picking up prescription drugs, airline tickets, Amtrak, getting into college football games, picking up tickets for concerts, plays, ballets, getting Covid vaccinations, getting library cards, entering secure federal and state buildings. 

    But, you're generally correct if you ignore every place else. 
  • Reply 18 of 25
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,913member
    rob53 said:
    Beats said:
    Anticompetitive.

    I should be able to sell my fraudulent IDs to minors that edit the birthdate. Apple is hurting my scam business!!!!!
    Exactly why Apple needs total control of the server and ID security aspects of the system. Of course someone will figure out a way to violate the system but it won’t be NSA, FBI or CIA doing it full time. Scammers like you (/s) will continue to make a little bit of money selling IDs to kids but won’t be able to grab lots of IDs to sell globally. 
    There’s gonna be idiots who cry “anticompetitive” eventually.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,365member
    rob53 said:
    I like and appreciate Apple’s process. It’s a ton better than anything I’ve seen on the web as far as documenting and specifying rules and processes for a digital ID. Apple can’t give away the control of the iPhone to anyone else no matter what Congress says. Congress doesn’t control or own the iPhone. If Congress wants control they can buy everyone an iPhone and manage it like companies can but they are not allowed by law to control my devices. I will find the statute that says this if pressed and I’m sure I could find it. I’ll just ask my lawyer daughter to find it. 
    Apple's Digital Driver's License ID system is almost certainly based on these standards:
    https://www.iso.org/standard/69084.html
    https://www.iso.org/standard/74910.html

    And s discussions of privacy features:
    https://medium.com/@dkelts.id/mobile-driver-licenses-mdl-how-to-use-iso-18013-5-5a1bbc1a37a3
    https://www.brookings.edu/techstream/privacy-preserving-credentials-for-smartphones-are-coming/

    edited November 2021
  • Reply 20 of 25
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,918member
    Apple should have total control. You can’t get 50 states to decide one one standard especially since many of the governors are cult driven. 
    Beatswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
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