Google brings e-IDs to Android


Google announced on the last day of its annual Google I/O 2019 that it is working to bring electronic IDs to future versions of its system for the operation of mobile devices Android, and confirmed separately that all new Android Q would be required to encrypt user data.

The e-ID card will replace the actual ID card, but it will work the same way as Google wants to use it across all transactions in the physical world.

It will also be a key component of the digital wallet, which can replace plane tickets, loyalty cards, and credit cards, but is unable to act as an identity card.

Google is looking to add e-ID support so developers can create applications for mobile devices that can be used securely as an e-mail.

“After Android Q, we look forward to adding e-ID support for mobile applications so that the phone can be used as an identifier, such as a driver’s license,” said Rene Mayrhofer and Xiaowen Xin of the Android Security and Privacy team.


The company did not provide any firm details about its plans but only focused on future efforts. It appears that the E-ID feature is not expected to reach Android Q since the process is not simple and compliance will require secure encryption and standardization procedures.

It will be challenging to set a timetable for access to the feature because electronic identifiers require first-class encryption, which in turn requires primarily that the devices be secure.

“Such applications contain a lot of security requirements, including integration between the client’s application on the user’s mobile phone and the authority systems used to issue licenses, updates and cancellations,” added security and privacy team members.

Google said it was still waiting for the official ISO standard before moving forward, knowing that Apple’s iOS now does not support e-ID.

The so-called ISO standard for mobile driving license (mDL) has been developing for almost three years, and Google is helping to create this standard, but the company seems tired of waiting.

Google’s ultimate goal is to make its Android operating system safer to store ID cards, including passports, that can be accessed even when the device does not have enough power to run.

Google is likely to launch this feature with Pixel devices first, then convince other Android device makers to adopt technology, which means that after a few years people can use their Android devices as electronic identifiers.

Most of the work that Google engineers will do is to create cryptographic algorithms that prevent ID fraud, and although the feature is developed as a comprehensive tool for application makers to authenticate and authenticate users, once it reaches Android, it will also be available to governments wishing to issue IDs based on Portable devices.


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