Google is bringing Covid-19 vaccine certificates direct to your Android smartphone
Covid-19 vaccine certificates are required almost everywhere these days. In fact, vaccine certificates are making it possible for people around the globe to get back to the life they were used to living, albeit in a different way - they can travel, but only if they have these precious certificates. And now, Google is making it easier for users to access their vaccine certificates. Simply said, Google is bringing Covid-19 vaccines directly to your Android smartphones.
Google today announced that it has updated its Passes API, which were mostly used to stores things like boarding passes. This update makes it easy for users to store and access their Covid-19 vaccination cards and test cards on their Android devices in a secure manner. Google said that starting today, developers from healthcare organisations, government agencies and organizations authorised 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.
Google said that 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. A good thing about this API is that this feature can be accessed on Android devices running on Android 5 or later and be Play Protect certified. Furthermore, installing the Google Pay app is not a requirement to access COVID Cards.
As far as security is concerned, Google said that a 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,” Google wrote in a blog post.
Furthermore, 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,” the company added.
“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,” the company added.
This update will roll out initially in the United States followed by other countries. However, Google didn’t announce the countries that will get this update next.