This is a big week at Apple as the company hosts its Worldwide Developers Conference, showcasing its latest developments. During a presentation on updates to the iOS operating system, company executives demonstrated how iPhone users will soon be able to scan their state-issued IDs into the Wallet app and use them as a standard form of identification.
The digital IDs will become available in iOS 15, which the tech giant plans to publish this fall. But there’s a catch: It will only be available in participating (as yet unnamed) states. Apple is also working with the Transportation Security Administration to enable the iPhone to be used as identification at airport security checkpoints in select U.S. airports.
Privacy and authenticity are priorities for Apple
With a growing focus on protecting customers’ privacy, Apple says state-issued driver’s licenses and identity cards in Wallet are encrypted and safely stored in the Secure Element, the same hardware technology that makes Apple Pay private and secure.
Patently Apple reports that Apple noted in one of their patent filings, “The subject system provides for authenticating a user’s physical ID with an identity provider (e.g., an issuer of the ID) to create an electronic ID for a given service or domain of services. During an enrollment phase, the user’s device captures image(s) of the ID (e.g., a driver’s license, passport, or the like) and sends the image(s) to an issuer of the ID (e.g., an agency that issued the ID, such as an agency that issues driver’s licenses), and/or a third party verification service that is capable of verifying the authenticity of the ID. A later patent filing, Apple revealed “a developing user authentication framework covering Digital ID, Driver License and ePassport.”