Google API update enables storage of COVID-19 status on Android devices

Information can be accessed via biometrics or PIN
Google API update enables storage of COVID-19 status on Android devices

Google has updated its Passes application programming interface (API) to allow COVID vaccination and test result records to be stored as digital health passes on Android devices.

Following the update, healthcare and other authorized organizations, together with government agencies, will be able to use the APIs to develop a fully digital version of COVID vaccination or test information.

Once stored on their device, users will be able to access the digital certificate either online or offline, using their devices’ password, PIN, or biometric form of authentication.

The COVID Cards feature is currently available on devices running Android 5 or later and supporting Google’s Play Protect, a feature ensuring compatibility with Google proprietary apps, as well those devices that passed a general Android compatibility test.

While integrated within the Google Pay app, the COVID Card will also reportedly work without it, using basic Google Pay functionalities embedded in modern Android devices.

To protect user privacy, Google clarified users will be able to freely share their COVID Card with others, but the company will not share the information contained in it with its services or third parties, nor will it be used for targeted ads.

Google will also reportedly not retain a copy of the user’s COVID vaccination or test information.

The new APIs behind the COVID Card have already been rolled out in the U.S., with more countries scheduled to follow in the coming weeks.

Developers interested in the new update can head over to this page to register their interest.

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