Apple wants to store user IDs. Maybe on iPhone

In the next release of the Apple operating system for iOS, the company offers the ability to use the iPhone to turn cars on and off. However, so far only one car works with this function, the new BMWs built after July 2020. It will take a long time for the new feature to become available to everyone. But, in addition to cars, Cupertino developers also plan to keep identity cards in the future. This is evidenced by Apple’s patent application for storing and replacing the physical identifier with a digital copy.

The next step in Apple’s desire to make the iPhone the only thing anyone should take with them is a device that can safely replace passports, driver’s licenses, and other physical forms of identification.

Most recently, Apple announced a plan to rid the world of car keys, but the iPhone has already made us forget what it means to wear diaries, cameras, pens, and even mirrors. Now the company is focused on getting rid of passports – plus library cards, sky-pass, and identity cards in general.

A series of slightly different patent applications, each of which is called “Submitting Verified Statements of User Identity,” describes in detail the methods by which a user ID can be recorded or transmitted – and confirmed. Apple does not use the word iPhone; instead, it refers hundreds of times to devices that can be any technology.

A device implementing a system for using a verified identity claim includes at least one processor configured to receive a verified claim, including information for identifying a device user. The verified claim is signed by the server when the information is verified by the authentication provider separate from the server, the verified claim relates to a specific device.

Apple Patent Excerpt



According to this proposal, a device such as the iPhone can safely transmit some form of identifier. If the owner of the device has already been verified, for example, with biometric sensors in the Apple Watch, he checks the identifier being sent.

Although the Apple app is primarily for identity cards, it is assumed that one system will be used for many purposes.

[This] allows the user to receive a verified identity claim, which serves as a digital identity for the user, which includes information for identifying the user (for example, information that has been provided by the user and verified by one or more systems), and this can be repeatedly used by different service providers.

Apple Patent Excerpt

Five identical patent applications discuss features such as selecting a user to provide an identifier and technical details of how data can be transmitted securely. All five are listed in the name of the same six inventors, including Christopher Sharpe and Gianpaolo Fazoli, both already have relevant patents, such as “Verifying data using independent device processors”.

Apple’s vice president of Internet services and Apple Pay has publicly announced that the company wants to provide an ID, but embarrassing because of government assurances.