Germany Says iPhones Running iOS 13 Will Be Able to Read NFC Tags in National ID Cards and Passports

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When iOS 13 arrives, iPhones will be able to read a wider range of Near Field Communication (NFC) tags, including the NFC tags often used in official documentation. Last week, The Verge reported that Japan had confirmed its national identity cards would support iPhone through a government-developed app, and now we're hearing that German authorities are also gearing up to make several forms of ID compatible with iPhone NFC interfaces.

Image via iphone-ticker.de

First spotted by tech blog iphone-ticker.de, Germany's interior ministry has announced that iOS 13 will soon allow Apple users to load national ID cards, residence permits, and biometric passports onto their iPhones. At the same time, the federal government's AusweisApp2 will be updated for iOS 13 to support the digital ID function.

In current and earlier versions of iOS, Apple has restricted the NFC reader in iPhones to Apple Pay. iOS 13 removes that technical limitation so that iPhones can scan more NFC chips, but developers must gain approval from Apple before their apps can implement the feature.

In another example of Apple opening up NFC access, the U.K. government recently confirmed that it had reached a deal with Apple to make its Brexit app for EU citizens' residency rights work on iPhones via the NFC chip. According to the German ministry, it and many other states have been in contact with Apple for a long time to negotiate NFC access, so users can expect other countries to announce official documentation support in the run-up to iOS 13's release in the fall.

(Thanks, Chris!)

Article Link: Germany Says iPhones Running iOS 13 Will Be Able to Read NFC Tags in National ID Cards and Passports
 

martyjmclean

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2018
640
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Sydney, NSW
I hope this pushes other countries to adopt this! NSW thought about putting driver licenses in an app but they decided against it (seeing as its illegal for an L, P1 or P2 driver to have a mobile in the car).

The only reason I still carry a wallet is for my licence and Medicare card.
 
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unfunfionn

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2015
109
88
Berlin, Germany
Finally. The government has been pushing the NFC capabilities of our ID cards for nearly a decade but you needed to buy a hardware reader and of course nobody did. This is a long overdue and very welcome development!
 

GaryMumford

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Jul 25, 2008
286
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UK


In another example of Apple opening up NFC access, the U.K. government recently confirmed that it had reached a deal with Apple to make its Brexit app for EU citizens' residency rights work on iPhones via the NFC chip. According to the German ministry, it and many other states have been in contact with Apple for a long time to negotiate NFC access, so users can expect other countries to announce official documentation support in the run-up to iOS 13's release in the fall.
Brexit app?
 

Birkan

macrumors member
Sep 11, 2011
96
68
Germany
I wonder if my YubiKey 5 NFC will work with the iPhone some day :(
I believe it’ll be up to the developers to support 2FA with NFC since CoreNFC framework now supports writing to NFC tags as well. Additionally, it might be possible for Yubico to update their mobile SDK for use of smaller developers. We’ll probably see it by September at earliest
 
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asiga

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Nov 4, 2012
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At some point, I suppose people will realize that being fully monitored 24/7 from either governments or businesses is not a good thing. The problem is that when it's too late, people say "we are all controlled by big-bro, there's no escape"... but when there was a chance to escape, they all cheered up and welcomed the full electronic control of their lives.

It's eerie to realize that movies like "1984" or "Gattaca" are not sci-fi anymore.

BTW: Will you also cheer up if the FBI can use this, or is it cool for every government agency but the FBI?
 

haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
5,099
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At some point, I suppose people will realize that being fully monitored 24/7 from either governments or businesses is not a good thing. The problem is that when it's too late, people say "we are all controlled by big-bro, there's no escape"... but when there was a chance to escape, they all cheered up and welcomed the full electronic control of their lives.

It's eerie to realize that movies like "1984" or "Gattaca" are not sci-fi anymore.
Read: China.
 
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[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2016
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Graz [Austria]
Holy ****! Finally!
I waited for this for ages... Let's hope Austria makes it happen too. The current generation of the CitizenCard ("Bürgerkarte") isn't NFC capable, but the next one will be. So that would be a great opportunity.

Let's hope we see NFC in the MacBooks as well, as otherwise this might not be usable to its full extent...
 
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Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
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At some point, I suppose people will realize that being fully monitored 24/7 from either governments or businesses is not a good thing. The problem is that when it's too late, people say "we are all controlled by big-bro, there's no escape"... but when there was a chance to escape, they all cheered up and welcomed the full electronic control of their lives.

It's eerie to realize that movies like "1984" or "Gattaca" are not sci-fi anymore.

BTW: Will you also cheer up if the FBI can use this, or is it cool for every government agency but the FBI?
I do understand your reservedness here, but from my understanding this is only a digital representation of an official document, which allows you to reduce the amount of plastic cards you carry around.

When you get controlled by some authority (e.g. police doing road check), you would have to present your ID Card anyway. I can't see the difference to presenting a digital representation.

If you're afraid of being tracked: Having a digital representation of your ID card (or driver's license etc.) on your smartphone is the least of your problems - it'd be more about switching that wiretap device off that you carry around all of the time.

This all assumes, of course, that there is no secret backdoor allowing whatever agency to spy unnoticed by installing "special software" in secret. But if Apple would allow this and it would ever come to light, Apple would have its reputation destroyed, which may be a devastating (if not lethal) blow to the business model of the whole company - even more so, as they seem to be busier than ever explaining to people how much they value privacy and to which lengths they go to ensure it.

btw.: "Gattaca" is less about 24/7 monitoring, but instead much more about the ethical problems of being able to analyse (and manipulate) genetic prerequisites and deduct predictions for the whole life development of an individual person. Can't really see the relation to having a digital representation (i.e. different "physical" form) of a simple ID card, which is mandatory in many countries anyway. Or do you question the requirement for an ID card in the first place?
 

revres

macrumors member
Jun 3, 2014
80
25
What about strangers at the airport loading your ID into their phones?
What about strangers going to the airport with your ID? The same, they will keep comparing the picture they can read out with your face.

At the European Airports there are automated terminals where they read out your passport information and then compare your face with it. The same thing can be done via NFC from the iPhone
 
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Val-kyrie

macrumors 68020
Feb 13, 2005
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So where are the safeguards against digital identity theft?

Using NFC scanners to steal information has been a real threat for at least two decades.
 

revres

macrumors member
Jun 3, 2014
80
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So where are the safeguards against digital identity theft?

Using NFC scanners to steal information has been a real threat for at least two decades.
There are many security measures already implemted and i am sure the same will be done if its integrated in the App.
For example if you want to read out the full Passport (basic information can be read out anyways), you need knowledge of some data like the CAN.
 

RosOne

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2009
128
317
Could someone please explain the use case? Why would I want to NFC-read my ID or that of someone else?

I’m clearly missing something here hmm
 

revres

macrumors member
Jun 3, 2014
80
25
Could someone please explain the use case? Why would I want to NFC-read my ID or that of someone else?

I’m clearly missing something here hmm
In Germany you can the authenticate directly to some goverment organisations with your ID and get out directly the informations you need (Example you want to know how much your pension will be or you need a report from the police for your employer that you have not done something in the past). This is already working with an PC or Android. The ID is protected by a pin code you can choose.
 
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RosOne

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2009
128
317
In Germany you can the authenticate directly to some goverment organisations with your ID and get out directly the informations you need (Example you want to know how much your pension will be or you need a report from the police for your employer that you have not done something in the past). This is already working with an PC or Android. The ID is protected by a pin code you can choose.
Yea, I understand that. But my question is why would I care that my iPhone can read that?
 

revres

macrumors member
Jun 3, 2014
80
25
Yea, I understand that. But my question is why would I care that my iPhone can read that?
Because you would otherwise need to buy a specific reader.
As well the use case to store your ID for checks at the airport would assist in some situations as you don’t need to carry it around (let’s see how this will be implemented)
 
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