Google has updated its Passes API to enable secure storage of vaccine and test cards on most Android devices.
Google recently announced that its Passes API is now ready to store personal Covid information securely for later access. The new feature, initially available only in the United States, allows developers from healthcare organizations, government agencies, and organizations authorized by public health authorities to issue a digital version of COVID vaccination or test information.
The digital documents will be accessible via a shortcut on the device home screen – even when offline – which is quite handy when traveling in areas that don’t typically have internet coverage.
However, the feature is not available on all Androids devices: they need to run on Android 5 or later and be Play Protect certified.
To secure privacy, Android devices storing COVID cards are required to have a lock screen and a password, PIN, or biometric input. To open a card, the user will be prompted for input. Users can choose to upload the information on multiple devices, but they will have to do so manually on each of them.
Google will not retain a copy of the vaccination and test information, nor share it with third parties – or use it to targeting users with ads.
Qualified providers can sign up to share their interest.
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