Apple patent filing envisions using an iPhone to prove one's identity
A patent application filed by Apple with the USPTO last March, envisions using the iPhone as a "proof-of-identity." The USPTO published the application on Wednesday. Titled "Document importation into secure element," the filing details how an iPhone could use a short-range radio (NFC or RFID) to store a person's credentials that have been embedded inside a circuit. The latter would be placed in a document issued by an authority (such as a driver's license). The credentials stored in the handset, such as a person's name, address and birth date, could then be used as prove the phone owner's identity.
iPhone X) to authenticate his identity, and this would release the personal data to the authority seeking the information. This could be useful inside a factory that restricts access to parts of the facility to certain employees.When there is a request for information, the iPhone owner could use a password, a fingerprint or facial recognition (on the
The patent application also notes the possible use of this system to release a person's passport number to a customs official, even if the person doesn't have the passport in his possession. The iPhone owner would authenticate his identity on the handset, releasing his/her passport number to the official. However, current law requires that travelers have their passports with them when traveling between certain countries. Apple would have to work out deals with a number of foreign governments in order to allow the iPhone to be used as a replacement for a passport.
The patent application is number 20180225662.