Wednesday, Jul 28, 2021, 17:16 iOS: Software

iOS 15's 4th Beta: Facial Recognition Should Be Able To Prevent Apple Wallet Identity Theft

This June at the WWDC, Apple announced that iPhone users would be able to save their personal identification and driver's licenses to the Wallet app. The feature will be released and tested in The United States first, before making its way across the pond and to other countries throughout the world. However, there have been difficulties integrating the feature even in The United States, where some states have opted not to support digital identification.

Identity Theft & Digital Identification
A big problem with digital identification is the potential for identity theft. If a criminal can add a copy of another individual's identity to their own phone, without the knowledge of the original owner, then they'd essentially be able to steal the other person's identity. However, the new Wallet feature hasn't even been released as of iOS 15's 4th beta (released just recently for developers), although there are new indications of how Apple plans to combat identity theft within the operating system's description files.



Facial Recognition Vs. Identity Theft
9to5Mac recently discovered that Apple plans to use facial recognition in order to compare the photo on an ID or driver's license with that of the device user. There are numerous strings in iOS 15's 4th beta documenting as much. In the first step of the process, the user simply captures a picture of their own face – then the user is asked to close their eyes until the iPhone vibrates. Afterwards, iOS 15 prompts the user to open their mouth and raise their eyebrows. The comparison of the photo on the identification card or driver's license and the captured photo takes place on the respective device and not on any of Apple's own servers.

Not 100% Secure – But With Hurdles For Identity Thieves
Thus, identity theft with Apple's Wallet app will occur best when the victim is entirely unaware that their means of identification has been copied. The aforementioned security process via facial recognition can probably be tricked with enough time and knowledge, however, a "quick" copying and theft of someone else's ID is essentially prevented under the previously mentioned process. Apple hasn't yet documented which sensors will be used for the specific facial recognition process. However, it's to be assumed that Apple will use implement these sensors on iPhones with Face ID to guarantee that the face in the first step isn't simply a photo but the actual face of a person.

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