TSA will test Apple’s digital ID next year

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iPhone wallet

Photography: Victoria Song / Gizmodo

THEit will soon be much easier for Apple iPhone owners to get through airport security. Apple is set to announce its digital wallet feature next year, and TSA is ahead of the launch by preparing to gradually introduce the feature at select airports.

First announced at WWDC in June, Apple’s plan to allow iPhone and Apple Watch users to store their driver’s license and state ID in the Wallet app was originally scheduled to arrive this year before being moved to 2022. The tech giant has since tried persuade states to accept these digital forms of identification, and it was revealed that Arizona and Georgia will be the first to introduce digital ID cards before arriving in Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah.

Apple said earlier this year that the TSA was working to enable security checks at airports so it could be among the top places to use digital IDs. Now is Secure Technology Alliance he announced in a statement that the transport administration will accept mobile driver’s licenses (mDLs) at two airports next february before adding two additional states in march as part of the pilot program.

The goal will be to simplify the ID verification process so that passengers can quickly apply through security lines. In addition to Apple Wallet, touching an iPhone or Apple Watch on a QR scanner will also check your boarding pass and ID, eliminating the need to remove your purse or wallet, show the card to a TSA agent, and toss a mask so they can see your face.

“Surveys show that travel is the number one case in which people are interested in mDL. The Transport Safety Authority (TSA) agrees and fully supports the mDL travel authentication movement, ”wrote the Secure Technology Alliance.

“TSA is preparing to begin its phasing-in, with the integration of Apple Wallet’s mDL being its first step, which will allow selected security checkpoints at participating airports to be the first locations where people can use their mDL in Wallet.”

The announcement did not specify which airports would participate in the pilot program, but based on what Apple said, they could be somewhere in Arizona and Georgia.

Apple believes that using digital IDs will be a faster and more secure way to verify your identity. However, some users have expressed privacy concerns about storing their most sensitive data in a device that could end up in the wrong hands. Security experts who talked to NPR they are concerned that digital IDs will make us more reliant on technology companies than before and fear that this feature could be used for tracking and monetizing.

For its part, Apple promises that identity data will be encrypted when it is transferred to the scanner, and documents obtained by CNBC last year they found that the company has “sole discretion” about how the program will work. There is so much control that the funds to implement these new systems will come from taxpayers, not from Cupertino.

Android users wondering when they can get through the TSA line are left out in the cold. In late 2019, Qualcomm and Google announced that the latest Snapdragon phone chips at the time would support Android Identity Credential APIs, but Google has since kept quiet about using the feature in any of its apps.

In addition to scanning your phone or watch at the TSA box office, digital IDs can be used to check your age at a liquor store, show your vaccination status at an event, or hand over your ID to a police officer after being stopped — another case of concern. for your privacy.

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