Apple working on using its devices as Passport or identification cards

Discovery of new patent filings implicate that Apple is working on digital users identification on its devices. A series of patents titled as “Providing Verified Claims of User Identity” explain how a device be used as a passport, driver’s license, and other identification cards so that users do not have to physically carry them at all times. It seems like the Wallet app storing users credit cards.

It must be kept in mind that mobile passports and identification cards are much difficult to verify than credit cards because they require government verification to eliminate any chance of fraudulent or malicious use. However, it is not impossible to develop the aforementioned technology.

Apple to use iPhone as Passport

Although the application does not specifically state an iPhone as the “verified identity provider”, an image attached with the Apple’s application illustrates a smartphone as the device to initiate the verification procedure from service providers. Personally an iPhone’s size, portability and supporting technology makes it the logical device to be digital identity provider at airports, office buildings, hospitals and more.

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The abstract of the filed patent reads:

“A device implementing a system for using a verified claim of identity may include at least one processor configured to receive a response vector corresponding to a verified claim of a user of a device, the verified claim comprising plural data fields to identify the user and being a digital certificate signed by a server, the verified claim being associated with the device, the response vector comprising, for each field of the plural data fields, a confidence score indicating a likelihood that the field is accurate. The at least one processor may be further configured to receive, from the device, a request for a service, determine, in response to receiving the request, that service is to be provided to the device based on the response vector and the verified claim, and provide the service to the device based on the determining”.

If Apple is successful in developing the verified identity provider” technology, it will not be another milestone for the company but also increase the value and use of iPhone in users daily life. The ability to carry ones identification cards in his/her smartphone will declutter their physical wallets and reduce the worry of losing important certificates.

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Apple already has experience in developing secure means to present identification for German and UK governments. In an interview with CNN in 2019, the company’s Vice President for Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey proudly talked about the increase in Apple Pay users because of “contactless payment” method and iPhone replacing many items carried in a wallet. However, when talking about identity she said:

“Identity, to be legal, it has to be government, it has to be authenticated by the government. 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. 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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