Why Apple is (Unintentionally) Delaying Digital ID for Smartphones

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An error in several generations of iPhone causes the delay of the testing phases of the France Identity application. You must allow your identity document information to be stored on your smartphone, to identify yourself to online services and/or to prove your identity.

The new biometric identity card // Source: Ministry of the Interior

Last year, the Government published a decree to create a Digital Identity Guarantee Service (SGIN): it will allow you to integrate the data of your identity document into an application called France Identity. The objective is to be able to connect more easily to online services, whether public or private, through the electronic DNI. At the moment, this solution is in the testing phase, but it is not ready to see the light of day. France Information reports that the process is being delayed due to a bug in iOS that Apple needs to fix.

France Identity still in testing phase

Last October, the government began the public test phase of France Identity. Many applications were submitted, but only 5,000 people were selected: 2,500 Android users and 2,500 iOS users. However, many of them have reported problems with the use of NFC.

The promise of France Identity // Source: France Identity

The latest version of the iOS app indicates that there is an error: ” On some newer devices, reading may take multiple attempts.Actually, it is about the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14, as well as all its mini, Plus, Pro and Pro Max versions. For development teams, this bug is related to Apple and is not their responsibility. In practice, this translates into unreliable performance: it doesn’t work all the time, and sometimes you have to try multiple times to scan your eID.

The conditions to participate in the beta program of the application // Source: France Identity

Indeed, ” Every time you need the highest level of security in the app to prove your identity, in addition to your secret code, you must bring the physical card to the phonewrites journalist Benjamin Vincent.

The Government is waiting for Apple to move forward

As indicatedFrance Informationthe Government had managed to convince Apple to integrate PACE technology into iOS 16. According to the websiteCardLogixis a password-based authentication procedure that ensures that the contactless chip of the electronic identity card “it cannot be read without direct access and that the data exchanged with the reading device is transmitted in encrypted form.[sic]This is an essential device to ensure the security of the France Identity application. The latter also adds in a note that “this issue is being investigated with apple».

The procedure to activate the application // Source: France Identity

However, this does not move from Apple’s side, and it has been for several months. Undoubtedly, this blocks the development of France Identity, but also the implementation schedule. If ANSSI is still examining the application’s source code, the testing phase is not over yet. Besides, we don’t count at the moment.”that» 5,000 testers, while the program provided for 20,000.

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