Apple Reportedly Wants US Taxpayers to Pay for Digital ID Card Rollout

BY Anu Joy

Published 15 Nov 2021

Apple will soon let you use your iPhone as a digital ID card, but at the cost of taxpayer’s money. Georgia, Arizona, Kentucky, and Oklahoma will be among the first to adopt digital IDs.

In June, Apple had announced in its WWDC event that iPhone users could soon digitally store their state-issued IDs on their iPhone’s Wallet app. CNBC secured the memorandum of agreement that brought to light the contract between Apple and state governments through public record requests and “other sources.”

The document highlights how the Cupertino-based company has a high degree of control over the government agencies issuing ID cards.

The report points out that states must allocate resources as per Apple’s needs.

States have to agree to “allocate reasonably sufficient personnel and resources (e.g., staff, project management and funding) to support the launch of the Program on a timeline to be determined by Apple.”

Additionally, states will need to work on ensuring the adoption of Apple’s digital IDs.

States have to agree to wide-ranging efforts designed to ensure the adoption of Apple’s digital IDs, including by offering the new feature “proactively” and at no additional cost whenever a citizen gets new or replacement identification cards.

To top it all off, Apple will have also have a firm hand on the marketing initiatives.

While the state agencies have to “prominently feature the Program in all public-facing communications relating to Digital Identity Credentials,” the marketing efforts are “subject in all cases to Apple’s prior review and approval.”

Most importantly, the contract states that all these efforts are paid for by states, “except as otherwise agreed upon between the parties, neither party shall owe the other party any fees under this Agreement.” Which essentially means that taxpayers will have to foot the bill. Even though Apple users aren’t paying for digital IDs upfront, they are paying for it through their tax dollars, as are non-Apple users who don’t stand to benefit.

If that doesn’t set the alarm bells ringing, there’s another cause for concern — security. Rolling out a digital ID program entails transferring your most sensitive details to your iPhone. It could leave your data vulnerable to theft, fraud, and other malicious activities while tying users closer to the Apple ecosystem.

Do you think taxpayers (especially non-iPhone users) should have to pay for Apple’s digital ID program? Let us know in the comments below!

[Via CNBC]