“…the Florida Smart-ID app will not function in exactly the same way as Apple’s mobile ID.”
Florida can be added to the list of states working with Apple on a mobile, virtual ID solution.
The news, first reported by Florida Politics, came by way of a state Senate panel last week, at which representatives of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) confirmed the Apple collaboration.
The official acknowledged that Florida hadn’t been on the list of states officially working with Apple when the tech giant offered an update on its mobile ID efforts at the end of summer. At the time, the list included Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah.
Terrence Samuel, Motorist Modernization Director at the FLHSMV, reportedly expressed surprise that Florida hadn’t been included on the list. But the explanation may lie in the fact that Florida’s mobile ID efforts were not being led by Apple. Rather, the state has been working on its own digital driver’s license system since 2014, and is now preparing to launch its Florida Smart-ID app – on iOS and Android – in mid-November. The FLHSMV had been presenting to the state Senate on that effort generally, rather than on the Apple Mobile ID program in particular.
As described in the Florida Politics report, the Florida Smart-ID app will not function in exactly the same way as Apple’s mobile ID. While the latter appears to communicate ID holder data via NFC, Florida Smart-ID will require the ID holder to scan a QR code from any official asking to see ID (such as a law enforcement officer), and will then bounce the request to a third party server to retrieve the information needed.
However, like Apple’s mobile ID, the Florida Smart-ID app will share information selectively, based on the context and the requesting party. A clerk asking for proof of age at a store will not be sent the same biographic information as a police officer, for example.
It isn’t yet clear whether the Florida Smart-ID app will have a similar identity confirmation process as that of Apple’s mobile ID, which will require users to submit selfie videos in which they perform specified face and head movements during the onboarding process. Apple will use facial recognition to match end users to images of their photo IDs.
In any case, the FLHSMV appears keen to work with Apple to get Florida’s mobile ID integrated into the Apple Wallet, with Samuel having told the Senate panel that there is “nothing that we see that would prevent us from being on the list” of Apple mobile ID partners.
Whether Florida’s app is adapted into Apple’s mobile ID platform or not, the state’s plans for an imminent launch of a mobile ID system reflect growing enthusiasm over the technology, with the government of Ontario – Canada’s most populous province – also currently working on its own mobile ID solution, as another example.