Apple digital-ID scheme delayed to 2022

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

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

The delay follows Apple’s announcement it was looking for “sole control” over how states rolled out 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 provided a specific release date for the feature beyond the early 2022 timeframe.

And there is conflicting information on the company’s site, with the software’s All New Features page still stating the ID feature is coming in “late 2021”.

BBC News has asked Apple for comment.

Privacy concerns

Arizona, and Georgia will introduce the system first, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah also signed up.

Apple has said it is in discussions with other US states – reportedly including Florida – as it works to offer the feature, announced at a presentation in June, nationwide in the future.

The “first locations” to use the system will be airport-security checkpoints run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Apple says.

Some users had expressed privacy concerns about handing over smartphones to police or security officials.

And Apple now says users do not need to unlock or hand over their phones for the system to work for airport security.

But it remains unclear if or how it might eventually work for other uses of ID, such as drivers stopped by police.

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