Apple Wallet ID features fingerprint limit, concerns remain

Wallet Ios
Wallet Ios (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A new feature that lets you put your state ID and driver's license in Apple Wallet is coming later this year.
  • Apparently, the feature will limit Touch ID on iPhone to just one fingerprint.
  • Concerns have been raised by numerous people over the feature.

A new iOS 15 feature that will let users store their state ID and driver's license in their Apple Wallet will limit Touch ID to one fingerprint, according to a new report.

According to John Gruber:

An interesting sidenote: when using a Touch ID iPhone with Apple Wallet's ID feature, you must register one and only one finger when you add your ID to your Wallet, and whenever you verify your ID in Wallet, you'll need to use that same finger. Apple has never recommended allowing your spouse or partner to register one of their fingers on your iPhone, but many people do that. This feature is designed to ensure that the same person who enrolled their state ID in Wallet is the same person verifying it biometrically. (This is not an issue with Face ID, obviously.)

The news comes as Apple has announced the first states to get the technology, Georgia and Arizona, with more to follow.

The system is designed to work like Apple Pay, encrypting your ID and working on a tap-to-show basis, where your phone interfaces with a terminal that can check the details of your ID. The system, according to Apple, is explicitly designed so that you don't have to hand over your phone to say, a police officer during a traffic stop, but that hasn't stopped some people raising concerns about this prospect.

One outlet described the move as dangerously stupid, whilst some have raised other concerns:

https://twitter.com/reckless/status/1433060645927333899?s=20

Joanna Stern noted that when asked about this Apple stated that users would not hand over their phone and that there is no visual representation of the license on the phone:

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

1 Comment
  • Guess the unknown part here is what the other party needs to have, if this is a contactless transfer sort of thing. I suppose it could be an AirDrop sort of process, where your identity is transferred when you authenticate using your finger. That would have to be more universal than Apple proprietary though. Police or whatever aren't going to be outfitting Apple Wallet ID, Android Wallet ID, Samsung Wallet ID (because they'd have their own).