New York could be Apple’s next stop on the road to mobile ID. As the Times Union reports, state records reveal that the company has been engaged in high-level talks with state officials concerning its digital driver’s license effort.
Lobbying records show that The Roffe Group of Albany, a lobby firm representing Apple, met with the Deputy Commissioner of New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles, Gregory Kline, in the second half of 2021. Apple employees were also present for the meeting, and the records indicate that they specifically discussed Apple’s emerging mobile ID system.
Apple’s project is essentially to enable iPhone users to create virtual versions of their driver’s licenses and other government-issued ID that would be stored in the iPhone’s Wallet app, and would be recognized as official identity documents by state officials. To that end, it has been quietly working with a handful of states to establish frameworks for this functionality, and it has also been working with the Transportation Security Administration to ensure that its mobile ID will be accepted for passenger screening at airports.
Last summer, Apple revealed that it was in talks with officials representing the states of Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, and Georgia.
The disclosures about Apple’s meetings with Kline of the New York DMV suggest that the state could soon be added to the list. As the Times Union reports, Kline heads the DMV’s online services arm and is its liaison with the New York Office of Information Technology Services. His meeting with Apple representatives was characterized in the records as concerning a “state procurement” issue.
The DMV is holding its cards to its chest, with spokeswoman Lisa Koumjian commenting only that, “Like many other states, DMV is interested in further exploring the concept and technology.”
Apple is not the only company seeking to pioneer mobile ID technology in the US. IDEMIA, the French identity and security giant, has been working with officials in Arizona, Delaware, Oklahoma, and Mississippi on a mobile ID system of its own, and recently hinted that a new driver’s license contract with the state of California will extend “beyond the production of physical ID cards” and feature “new technologies”.
For its part, Apple has confirmed that its mobile ID solution will use biometric, selfie-based onboarding to confirm the identities of users via facial recognition, which can match selfie images to those on official identity documents.
Source: Times Union