Apple presses ahead with aim to replace paper passports and ID with iPhone

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Apple is continuing to research how to ensure the identity of someone presenting an iPhone to a passport official, or using any other digital ID document.

This is coming — your passport, drivers’ licence, and probably all paper ID is going to go digital. The iPhone has already replaced everything from wallets to compact mirrors, and if it doesn’t know when ID will make the move to digital, Apple is certain it’s going to happen.

The company has already applied for multiple patents on related issues, including how an official can request what ID data from an iPhone. Now a newly-revealed patent application is concentrating on authenticating that the person holding an iPhone with digital ID is the real owner.

“User authentication framework,” is about how to “securely perform a user authentication” when asked by “an issuing authority.”

“[This patent application] describes embodiments in which a person may present identification information through a mobile device instead of presenting a traditional form of identification,” says Apple. “[It] begins with a discussion about storing identification information (e.g., of a passport, driver license, government-issued ID, student ID, etc.) on a mobile device… [And] then describes an authentication framework for performing a user authentication at the mobile device.”

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