Already several months late for the official application which should allow you to integrate your identity card data into your smartphone. Its release should have been imminent but a bug on some iPhones disrupted the schedule.
This is the tile for the team that has been working for months on this long-awaited app that we tested, at the beginning of last October, in preview. As soon as the test phase was opened to the public, it had been overwhelmed with applications, and only some had access to it: 5,000 people now have the beta version of France Identity on their phone: 2,500 use the Android version – without any particular concern – and 2,500 others have therefore installed the version for iOS, the iPhone system.
And precisely, it was by collecting feedback from these users equipped with all iPhone models that the team revealed a bug… on the Apple side. This technical concern concerns the NFC, in other words the contactless which makes it possible to transfer, in its smartphone, the data contained in the chip of the new identity card, the card in credit card format.
Three generations of iPhone affected
The team thought they had done the hardest part, convincing Apple to integrate a technology called PACE into iOS, which is essential for creating the secure digital version of official documents. PACE arrived in iOS mid-September, with version 16. Huge relief, until these first reports of a problematic connection between the chip and the phone, with the iPhones released since September 2020: iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone 14! Three ranges; the three most recent generations of iPhone exhibit “erratic” behavior when bringing the plastic card and its chip closer to the phone. “On some recent devices, reading may take several tries”says the notice of the test app.
“This issue is being investigated with Apple.”Note related to the beta version of France Identity on iPhone
Clearly, one day it works, but the next time, for no reason, you have to try it several times. However, each time you need the highest level of security in the app to prove your identity, in addition to your secret code, you will need to bring the physical card closer to the phone.
“This issue is being investigated with Apple” the app says again. And that’s the whole problem, because the solution has been in California for several months, in the hands of Apple and its opacity. And until the bug is fixed, the whole project is put on hold.
This bug obviously has consequences on the calendar. Fortunately, the time that has passed for several weeks is not completely wasted. ANSSI, the national information systems security agency, which must certify the app, is still examining its code, but for the rest, the test phase has already taken several months of delay. . She who must culminate with 20,000 testers and not 5,000, as since the fall.
Then, the launch will depend on the government but the prerequisite is – above all – that this bug disappears, and that all iPhones can benefit from the France Identity application.