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Apple Agrees to Allow Access to the iPhone’s NFC Tech for UK Brexit App

Apple Agrees to Allow Access to the iPhone’s NFC Tech for UK Brexit App

Last November, we reported how the U.K. government was trying to convince Apple to allow access to the iPhone’s built-in NFC technology to allow EU citizens to scan their passports post-Brexit. The UK government has now announced a deal has been reached with Apple to open access to the NFC chip.

NFC World reports Apple will extend the NFC capabilities of the iPhone to support the EU Exit: ID Document Check application.

The UK government app allows EU citizens to apply for residency in the U.K. post-Brexit. The app allows users to take a selfie, fill out a short form, then scan their passport using the NFC capabilities of their smartphone. However, the iPhone’s NFC capabilities only supports the NDEF data format. The data encoded in passports follows another data format.

“Our EU Settlement Scheme is now up and running and after a successful launch, over 280,000 EU citizens have applied so that they can continue to live their lives as they do now,” said UK home secretary Sajid Javid. “I’m also pleased to confirm that Apple will make the identity document check app available on their devices by the end of the year.”

While the U.K.’s “Brexit from the EU may currently be in limbo, Javid made it “crystal clear” the scheme would continue, no matter the outcome of Brexit negotiations. The registration program will continue until June 2021 if a deal is reached or December 2020 if no deal is reached.

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