W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > November 2021

Apple's control over state issued digital IDs

From: Liam McCarty <liam@unum.id>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2021 15:08:40 -0500
Message-Id: <15203183-82D2-4143-BFF8-6565D03618B0@unum.id>
To: Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
CNBC article: Apple is sticking taxpayers with part of the bill for rollout of tech giant’s digital ID card <https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/14/apple-sticking-taxpayers-with-part-of-the-bill-for-digital-id-rollout.html>

This is exactly the opposite of what an open, interoperable, Verifiable Credential ecosystem is meant to achieve. Very disheartening.

Some choice quotes:

Apple has “sole discretion” for key aspects of the program, including what types of devices will be compatible with the digital IDs, how states are required to report on the performance of the effort, and when the program is launched, according to the documents. Apple even gets to review and approve the marketing that states are required to do.

The dynamic is similar to the way Apple typically deals with vendors, although instead of getting paid by Apple, the states have to shoulder the financial burden of administering the programs

All these efforts are paid for by states. The contract says that “except as otherwise agreed upon between the Parties, neither Party shall owe the other Party any fees under this Agreement.”

The agreements are also notable for what is missing, in terms of constraints or guard rails on how Apple can use the powerful capability of identity verification, according to Mikula. That raises questions about whether the company can restrict access to the new capability for competitors’ products.

Curious what others make of this.

Liam McCarty
Co-Founder of Unum ID <https://www.unum.id/>

Received on Monday, 15 November 2021 20:09:34 UTC

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