Arizona First State to Accept Digital IDs for Air Travel | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

(TNS) — Arizona just became the first state to allow the use of digital IDs, a feature Apple announced last fall that will be available on iPhones and Apple Watches, the company said in a news release.

As of March 23, Arizona residents with TSA PreCheck can use their digital driver’s licenses or state IDs at certain security checkpoints at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, KCRA reported.

To upload the IDs to their Apple Wallets, users will have to take a selfie, scan the front and back of their ID card, and complete a series of head and facial movements, the release said. From there, the state has to verify and approve users’ requests to digitize their IDs.

Because the feature is only available in Arizona, travelers will still need their physical IDs to fly back if they leave the state. Arizonans will also still need their physical IDs to enter bars, show proof of identification to police (such as during a traffic stop) and to get documents notarized, KCRA reported.


If more states adopt digital IDs, their range of use could be expanded, experts say.According to Apple, the feature will soon be available in Colorado, Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio and the territory of Puerto Rico, according to the company’s news release.

Lawmakers in other states, like North Carolina, Texas and California, are still “exploring” the possibility of introducing digital IDs. As of December 2021, a month after Apple first announced the new feature, there were 30 states contemplating the idea, 9to5Mac reported.

The ability to add government IDs to the Apple Wallet app “is an important step in our vision of replacing the physical wallet with a secure and easy-to-use mobile wallet,” Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, said in the release.


But not everyone is on board with the idea. Critics warn that digital IDs could present privacy risks and promote over-reliance on smart technology.

In a 2021 report, the American Civil Liberties Union said that digital driver’s licenses “will give institutions a major new tool by which individuals can be inescapably tracked” and could leave users susceptible to cyber attacks.

“The essential insecurity of the digital world should not automatically be a reason not to make something digital, of course — and plastic licenses have their own vulnerabilities — but the consequences of successful cyber attacks do need to be carefully considered: not only how serious the effects of an incursion could be, but who will bear the burden of an attack,” the report said.

However, Apple assures consumers that digital IDs offer “superior security and privacy over a physical wallet.” Apple and state governments won’t be able to see when the IDs are used, and the use of the IDs will not require users to unlock, show or hand their devices to another person, the company’s release said.

©2022 The Charlotte Observer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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