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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Apple digital-ID scheme delayed to 2022


Apple’s much promoted digital driver’s licence feature is now to be delayed to early 2022.

The scheme, which was announced in September, will allow residents of eight US states to store state IDs and driver’s licences inside the Apple Wallet app on their iPhone.

The delay comes after Apple stated that it wanted “sole control” over how states implemented the feature.

Reports have stated the new feature will come at a cost to the taxpayer.

Conflicting information

The delay was first noticed on an update to Apple’s iOS 15 page, by technology website MacRumors.

Apple has not specified a specific release date for the feature beyond early 2022.

Furthermore, there is conflicting information on the company’s website, with the software’s All New Features page still stating that the ID feature will be available “late 2021.”

BBC News has reached out to Apple for comment.

Privacy concerns

Arizona and Georgia will be the first to use the system, followed by Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Apple has stated that it is in talks with other US states, including Florida, in order to offer the feature, which was announced at a June presentation, nationwide in the future.

According to Apple, the system’s “first locations” will be airport security checkpoints run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Some users expressed privacy concerns about handing over their smartphones to law enforcement or security personnel.

Furthermore, Apple now claims that users do not need to unlock or hand over their phones for the system to function for airport security.

However, it is unclear whether or not it will eventually work for other uses of ID, such as drivers stopped by police.

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