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Expanding its digital ID turf, Apple gets patent putting its devices at center of transactions

Expanding its digital ID turf, Apple gets patent putting its devices at center of transactions

Apple has been awarded a United States patent related to digital ID authentication using mobile devices.

The new patent (11494574 B2), spotted by Patently Apple, is for digitally authenticating identity documents, and at first glance, appears to cover many steps in proving the authenticity of documents presented.

Apple has protection for identity document authentication software and hardware. The hardware would receive and transmit a representation of a document that is being judged for legitimacy.

Businesses and other entities are exasperated by the proliferation of online fraud and are looking for any way to know with more certainty and for a reasonable cost who they are dealing with.

Physical IDs are evolving into more-sophisticated fraud-denying documents, but most of the improvements are physical, which often are useless in online dealings.

The representation would not be a copy of the document – a driver’s license, for example. It would be data about the form factor of the document that would be compared against a record of a previous representation.

That data can be how close a watermark is to the first or last name of the person needing authentication. It could also be the proximity of any personal information, which is not unique, but not common.

The software could perform facial image comparisons on the device, analyzing a driver’s license photo to a live image, and with consent, the software could update its records, periodically finding new images as a person ages.

Having evaluated the record and new representation, the device would send its verdict to the entity, a third-party service firm or issuing government agency, that requested authentication.

Devices like the iPhone also could capture images of IDs in infrared and red-green-blue light, which is authentication data that can be shared online.

Last month, Apple integrated its Wallet app with mobile driver’s licenses. IOS 16 was Apples first customer-impacting step. And not long before that, company executives indicated that they want the brand to be ubiquitous in digital IDs.

And, of course, Apple is busy trying to win over all 50 U.S. states in its campaign to put digital Driver’s license in all Wallets. It appears to be making the right connections. In December came reports that Apple was working with the U.S. Transportation Administration to get identity documents digitalized.

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