Apple recently announced that they will add digital identity documents to the Apple Pay wallet on iPhones.

Recently, Joseph Choi from The Hill reported that eight US states; Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah were joining the program – effectively selling their citizens’ identities to Apple. 

Governments should not be giving control of their citizens’ identity to a Big Tech company, and neither should you.

The i’s have it

If you are an Apple user, you’re familiar with the ‘i’ moniker they put on nearly everything. You have an iPhone that runs iOS and connects to iCloud so you can download apps onto your iPad. 

Perhaps the ‘i’ is supposed to make you think it is your iPhone and it’s yours to control, when in reality, everything that Apple does is designed to take ownership of more of your data and more control of your digital life. They certainly have a sharp sense of humour or perhaps just a sharp sense of irony, using the lower case ’i‘ to remind you that it’s not really about you at all.

We work hard for your money

Manyone is working hard to provide Internet users of all stripes the convenience of carrying a digital version of their identity in a ‘digital wallet’. The difference between Manyone’s digital identity and Apple’s digital identity is fundamental: Manyone has built our solution to respect people’s privacy, not to exploit it. We don’t control a large percentage of the world’s mobile phone subscribers, so Manyone’s digital identity offering must be based on respect, verifiable trust, and performance. If we don’t protect your identity, you’ll walk, and we’ll go out of business.

This is not the case with Apple. As an iPhone user you’re already giving Apple reams of data every second of every day. Heck, you don’t even have a say over what you can do on that $1000 phone because Apple’s App Store controls which applications are available.

Adding a digital driver’s license or passport may not seem to be too risky given all the other data you already share with Apple, but identity is different. Identity is critical to access services like healthcare and education, and your driver’s license ensures you are mobile. Trusting a company that builds and sells phones to protect and secure something as crucial as your official proof of existence is not something that anyone or any government should do.

Let’s not allow Apple to make ‘iDentity’ their next billion dollar monopoly.