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Google’s COVID Card feature to store vaccine certificates

Google's COVID card feature will show a digital copy of their vaccination certificate. The feature has been developed while keeping security in mind.

Highlights

  • Google to show digital vaccination certificate natively on Android
  • The feature has been developed while keeping security in mind 

Google is now updating its passes service to start showing COVID cards on Android devices. This feature will allow users to store a digital copy of their vaccination certificate. In addition, it will not require any user to download any app to store the digital vaccination certificate.

Google says that developers from healthcare organizations, government agencies, etc., can now access the new API. These APIs will help create a digital version of COVID vaccination or test information. The new Passes APIs must be integrated by the developers in their system for Google to access the info and create the digital certificate.

The Passes API originally served to integrate gift cards, loyalty programmes and offers within the Google Pay service. Google says the feature will roll out initially in the United States, followed by other countries.

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How to use COVID Card feature?

Once a user stores the digital version of the COVID Card to their device, they will access it via a shortcut on their device home screen. This will be possible even if a user is offline or in areas that have weak internet service.

The device needs to run Android 5 or later and be Play Protect certified to use this feature. Installing the Google Pay app is not a requirement to access COVID Cards.

Google says that the feature has been developed while keeping the privacy of the user in mind. The user’s COVID vaccination and test information are stored on their Android device. If a user wants to access this information on multiple devices, they will need to store it on each device manually. Google also doesn’t retain any copies of the certificate.

Users can choose to show their COVID Card to others. Google does not share the information in the user’s COVID Card with any third party. A lock screen is also required to store a COVID Card on a device. “This is for added security and to protect the user’s personal information”, says Google.

To access the COVID card, users will be asked for the password, pin or biometric method set up for their Android device.

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