Apple reportedly is making fresh strides with electronic passports, another sign of how one of the biggest Big Tech operations is helping to fuel progress with digital ID.
According to PatentlyApple.com, the tech firm recent filed with the U.S. Patent Office an “application from Apple titled ‘User Authentication Framework,’ about authenticating a user with a mobile device beyond Face and Touch ID and into the area of an e-Passport.”
Passengers can prove their pandemic status while also offering digital versions of their passports for authentication
This latest move from Apple comes as digital passports gain more mainstream use around the world, adding efficiency and security to airport and other travel authentication methods.
As for Apple, its latest patent application — number 20210105265 — is an invention that “describes embodiments in which a person may present identification information through an iPhone (or other mobile device) instead of presenting a traditional form of identification,” according to the report.
Apple E-Passport technology
As described by Apple in the application, the technology works this way: “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.”
Digital ID and pandemic status
In related news — as more evidence about how mobile devices such as iPhones are playing bigger roles in global digital ID and e-passport efforts — the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, has launched what Reuters called “a digital travel pass for COVID-19 test results and vaccine certificates” compatible with Apple devices.
According to the IATA, the travel pass “is a mobile app that helps travelers to store and manage their verified certifications for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. It is more secure and efficient than current paper processes used to manage health requirements (the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, for example). This is important given the potentially enormous scale of testing or vaccine verifications that will need to be securely managed.”
The technology is being tested on London-to-Barbados flights from Virgin Atlantic, according to reports. Passengers can prove their pandemic status while also offering digital versions of their passports for authentication.