Apple devices could be used as ID in future, company’s patents suggest

  • Apple
  • Monday, 06 Jul 2020

AppleID might be taken next level, with patents suggesting that Apple is looking to use its devices as an alternative to carrying around a passport or driving license. — ROHAIZAT MD DARUS/The Star

Apple fanboys’ attempts at tying their personal identity with the brand might soon be able to take a literal turn, with the tech giant’s patents revealing plans to use devices as a viable alternative to personal identification documents (ID).

AppleInsider reported that a series of patents titled “Providing Verified Claims of User Identity” explained how a user’s identity could be recorded, transmitted and confirmed using a device.

It adds that while the patents did not use the term iPhone at all, they did refer repeatedly to “devices that could be any piece of technology”.

One of the patents explained that a user’s device such as a smartphone could contain their ID, and would be able to transmit it once the user verifies themselves on the device.

For example, after using their fingerprint to unlock the iPhone, that would count as verification, and the smartphone would then let the ID stored on the phone to be used.

This means users could potentially just carry their phones without needing to have a passport, drivers license or Identity Card (IC) to prove who they were.

AppleInsider said the patents mainly referred to passports, but was designed to accept other forms of identification.

The patents also detailed features like opting-in to provide ID, and how data would be securely transmitted.

The five patents were credited to six inventors, including Christopher Sharp and Gianpaolo Fasoli, who have previously worked on other technology related to data verification.

Apple Pay vice-president Jennifer Bailey was reported last year saying the company wanted to provide ID, though it was challenging due to requiring governments’ authentication to make an identity document legal.

She added that it was “not too far away” as some airports were already accepting mobile passports.

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