Apple wants your iPhone to serve as your passport, driver’s license, personal ID

Apple is continuing to investigate methods to have your iPhone serve as a replacement for your paper passport, driver’s license, and other IDs as evidenced by a newly filed patent (number 20210105265) for an “user authentication framework.”

Modern passports (called e-Passports) may include an electronic chip that stores a passport holder’s name, date of birth, and other forms of information. When a person is passing through customs, the person may present the passport to a customs officer, who places the passport on a reader to extract information stored in the passport. 

Upon verifying the information printed on the passport against the internally stored information, the officer may confirm the identity of the holder and allow the holder passage through customs. Apple wants your iPhone to contain that information, as well as your driver’s license and other forms of personal identification.

Here’s the summary of the patent data: “Techniques are disclosed relating to authenticating a user with a mobile device. In some embodiments, a computing device stores a first signed attestation indicating an ability of the computing device to securely perform a user authentication. The computing device receives a request to store credential information of an identification document issued by an issuing authority to a user for establishing an identity of the user. 

“In response to the request, the computing device sends, to the issuing authority, a request to store the credential information, the sent request including the first signed attestation to indicate an ability to perform a user authentication prior to permitting access to the credential information. In response to an approval of the sent request based on the first signed attestation, the computing device stores the credential information in a secure element of the computing device.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the news editor of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.