Google making Android safe enough to use for drivers licenses and passports

Hopefully in a few years wallets will be a thing of the past

Google has announced a new program called the Android Ready SE Alliance that aims to make smartphones safe enough for users to store official documents like their passport and ID.

When the Pixel 3 launched, Google built a second chip into the phone that’s called the Titan M chip. This is what’s known as a Secure Element (SE), and as more and more phones add these types of processors, it’s opening the door for Google to roll out more advanced software.

As of right now, the tech giant is hoping to use these chips to securely store passports, IDs, digital keys, national IDs (SIN cards) and an eMoney solution.

The plan to make this work is to allow trusted partners to form something called the Android Ready SE Alliance. Manufactures in this group can develop small open-source applets that will enable these features going forward.

While this should help users, it’s likely going to take government regulation to make this happen in Canada. So far, there’s an app called eID-ME that lets Canadians store their driver’s licenses digitally, but it’s still not a government-accepted form of identification.

Apple is also working on a similar protocol and has already rolled out a partnership with BMW to unlock its cars with iPhones. 

Hopefully, when Google’s new tech gets more prevalent, governments will allow users to finally move all their cards over to their phones and wallets will be a thing of the past.

Source: Google Security Blog