Apple is considering the possibility of using the iPhone or Apple Watch as a form of identification for the user, with a secure storage system using RFID technology with the potential to use a smartphone as an alternative to travelers? passports in ports.
What if your iPhone replaces your passport?
Filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on March 30 and published today, the patent application for ? Importing documents into a secure item ? describes how such a system could import credentials. The same identifying information can then be provided to an authority disputing the identity of the device owner as evidence.
The electronic device described comprises a short-range radio, namely RFID or NFC (already available on the iPhone and Apple Watch), and a secure element for storing data as well as the capacity to process data. Using RFID technology, the device acquires ?some of the identifying information From an identification document issued by an authority, such as a driver?s license.
Some governments around the world issue identification forms with an electronic component. These electronic passports contain a chip similar to that of your credit or debit card, which contains information such as your name and date of birth.
When you go to the airport, the agent can place your passport on a reader to compare the information stored in their database. But in the future, you can take your iPhone out of your pocket or just hold your wrist for your Apple Watch to transmit information; as you already do when you make a purchase in a store. Of course, for this to work without a single passport, Apple will need the agreement of countries on both sides of a border to allow an iPhone or Apple Watch to replace a passport.
A patent granted to Apple does not mean that it will see the light of day, of course. But that at least shows that the project is in the drawers of society.
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