As he tells it, Canadian man Martin Reisch made the easy error of forgetting his passport during a recent trip from Quebec into the States. Upon reaching the border, he presented his driver’s license and his iPad, equipped with a picture of his passport he uploaded to a Dropbox years ago. And U.S. Customs let him through.
Of course, the agency, in trying to save face, now refutes the incident, instead claiming Reisch also presented a birth certificate. But he denies doing so.
Given security concerns, expect U.S. Customs to clamp down—the possibility of paper documents soon giving way to mobile-optimized options seems unlikely in the near future, what with the presumed ease of counterfeiting and all. Maybe the next step is actually embedded ID chips.