TECH

Your Smartphone Could Soon Replace Your Passport

But what if you run out of battery?

31/03/2016 12:03

The smartphone can already be a replacement for gig tickets, boarding passes and even your bank card so is the idea of your iPhone becoming your passport that far fetched?

PaulRobles via Getty Images

Well the company that prints your passport (and indeed all your bank notes) has started considering the possibility of a 'digital passport' that would live on your smartphone.

De La Rue, the company that prints the iconic British passport has confirmed that the company is looking into ways that they could make the technology work.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

The digital passport would work in much the same way that Apple Pay or digital boarding passes work.

Like much of the digital world though, the risk of forgery is high so the biggest hurdle is finding a way of authenticating the passport.

It's not clear how the company would do this but there are a range of modern technologies available including fingerprint readers and biometric sensors which can identify a person's iris.

Alex Wong via Getty Images

Modern passports already contain a digital element in the form of a microchip which stores all the information as well as a digital image of the owner's face for comparison.

The iPhone actually has a number of the required technologies which could prove useful for authenticating official documents including a Secure Enclave inside which it securely stores all the fingerprint data for the Touch ID sensor.

George Frey via Getty Images

Apple's website explains that the Secure Enclave is walled off from the iPhone's chip and its software and is never stored in the cloud, effectively turning the iPhone into a mobile vault.

Of course security isn't just another hurdle to overcome. Unlike a piece of paper, a smartphone has a limited battery life and so if it dies there's potential for some embarrassing conversations at the check in desk...

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS