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ID cards and driver’s licenses land on iPhones in the US

Historical turning point for the physicalization of documents. An apple announce The first states in the US to support a new iOS 15 feature that stores driver’s licenses and ID cards in the Wallet app.

These are Arizona and Georgia, which will later be followed by Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah. No details have been given on the exact timing, but iOS 15 will arrive in a few weeks, so hopefully, it won’t take long.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also confirmed that it will open some airport checkpoints for passengers who have electronic documents on Apple devices.

How it works

Obviously, this news at the moment concerns only the United States, but it cannot be excluded that it will be the same in Europe in a couple of years. Adding an ID or driver’s license to the Apple Wallet app works similar to how you currently add a credit card. Except that after scanning the document with the iPhone camera, the user is also required to provide a personal photo that the state can use for verification purposes. Apple says “users will also be required to complete a series of face and head movements during the installation process” for added safety.

security puzzle

Apple itself has also emphasized privacy protections, stating that “Apple and the issuing countries do not know when or where users send their documents” and that biometric authentication is required to share data. Documents are submitted digitally through the encrypted connection directly between the device and the identity reader, so users do not have to unlock, show or hand over their devices.

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With the latest clarification, it appears that Apple is trying to address concerns raised on multiple fronts about what mobile phone documents might mean for interactions with police and other law enforcement agencies. Way to say that in the end you won’t have to hand over an unlocked iPhone for verification.

From Cupertino, they also specified that the implementation of documents on their wallet “supports the ISO 18013-5 mDL standard in which Apple has played an active role in development, and which establishes clear guidelines on protecting consumer privacy when presenting an identity card or driver’s license via a mobile device.”

However, the safety debate remains open. On the other hand, proponents of digital documents consider them to be more secure than physical documents. On the other hand, some associations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, state that “in the long run, if digital identifiers completely replace physical documents, or if only physical document holders are disenfranchised, this could have significant implications.” for social justice.”

Maggie Benson

"Bacon trailblazer. Certified coffee maven. Zombie lover. Tv specialist. Freelance communicator."

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