Apple announces digital IDs at WWDC…but Australia already has them

Apple introduced iOS 15 at this year’s WWDC with a host of new features coming to the iPhone later this year. One of the more eye-catching ones was the update to Apple Wallet that now makes it your digital ID (only for participating states in the US as of now).

With the backing of the US Federal Government, iPhone users would be able to use their digital IDs at airports. These identity cards in the Wallet are encrypted and safely stored in the Secure Element, the same technology that is used in Apple Pay.

Google and IBM have also been researching into completely digitising identity documents like driving licenses. 

Australia > Apple?

This news might seem odd if you are from New South Wales, Australia because digital driving licenses (DDL) were introduced by the government back in November 2019. Currently, three million (53%) license holders in NSW have opted for a digital copy of their license.

Last September, the NSW Parliament passed legislation that gave the DDL the same legal status as a physical driver’s license, and it is now accepted by police in every Australian state and territory. 

Though DDL was introduced by the Australian government more than a year ago, it is a one-dimensional tool for digitisation. 

Apple on the other hand through the iOS 15 wallet update aims to go completely digital. The iPhone could unlock your car using Ultra-Wideband technology and even replace house and hotel keys, all of which would be stored in Apple Wallet. 

If the update is everything that it promises to be, users might be able to leave their homes with just their phones.

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