Posted by Irfan Faizullabhoy
Google has updated its Passes API to enable a simple and secure way to store and access COVID vaccination and test cards on Android devices. Starting today, developers from healthcare organizations, government agencies and organizations authorized by public health authorities to distribute COVID vaccines and/or tests will have access to these APIs to create a digital version of COVID vaccination or test information. This will roll out initially in the United States followed by other countries.
Example COVID Cards from Healthvana, a company serving Los Angeles County
Once a user stores the digital version of the COVID Card to their device, they will be able to access it via a shortcut on their device home screen, even when they are offline or in areas that have weak internet service. To use this feature, the device needs to run Android 5 or later and be Play Protect certified. Installing the Google Pay app is not a requirement to access COVID Cards.
The COVID Card has been designed with privacy and security at its core.
- Storing information: The user’s COVID vaccination and test information is stored on their Android device. If a user wants to access this information on multiple devices, the user will need to manually store it on each device. Google does not retain a copy of the user’s COVID vaccination or test information.
- Sharing information: Users can choose to show their COVID Card to others. The information in the user’s COVID Card is not shared by Google with its various services or third parties and it is not used for targeting ads.
- Securing information: A lock screen is required in order to store a COVID Card on a device. This is for added security and to protect the user’s personal information. When a user wants to access their COVID Card, they will be asked for the password, pin or biometric method set up for their Android device.
What do you think?
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