Apple patent hints at ePassport ambitions


A new Apple patent includes references to technolgy that could emulate the chip in an ePassport.

The filing notes that certain governments around the world issue forms of identification that have an electronic component. Such e-passports contain a chip—similar to the one in your credit/debit card—that can hold information like your name and date of birth, reports Apple World.

In one embodiment, a computing device includes a short-range radio and a secure element. The computing device reads, via the short-range radio, a portion of credential information stored in a circuit embedded in an identification document issued by an authority to a user for establishing an identity of the user. The computing device issues, to the authority, a request to store the credential information, the request specifying the portion of the credential information.

In response to an approval of the request, the computing device stores the credential information in the secure element, the credential information being usable to establish the identity of the user. In some embodiments, the identification document is a passport that includes a radio-frequency identification (RFID) circuit storing the credential information, and the request specifies a passport number read from the RFID circuit.

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