Through an announcement made jointly by Qualcomm and Google, a new feature for the future version of Android was presented: an identity credentials API, a resource that will allow carrying official identification documents inside an Android R device, such as driver's license, passport and other identification credentials.
This API is still in development and will be initially supported by the Snapdragon 765 and Snapdragon 865 mobile platforms. For this reason, the announcement was made in early December 2019, during the development of the second day of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit. , in Maui, Hawi. In that instance, the company specialized in mobile chips announced its next releases for the coming year.
The presentation was made by Sudhi Herle, head of security for the Android platform. He noted that Qualcomm was the first provider to support this new Secure Credentials API backed by a hardware-based safe. He also noted that they have also worked closely on improving kernel security and detection capabilities for kernel memory security.
This electronic identification system will work through a system application, present in Android R, which after processing the information of the stored credentials, will present a QR code for a different device to scan it with the help of a dedicated application. For privacy reasons, QR codes will not store personal information, they will only be a communication tool with the API, which will already have validated information from the stored documents. In addition, outside the possibility of being scanned, this utility will have a basic identification tool, displaying only the user's name, photo and date of birth.
In order to provide this tool with legal validity, according to the reality of each territory in which it is intended to be used, its implementation is required to comply with current regulations if they exist or that governments legislate around the use of these tools. if they haven't already.
At the moment, there is already a pilot plan in place, as indicated by Qualcomm. The experience that has left its test in some states and US government agencies is the need to implement a double authentication process, as an additional measure to validate the documents. Broadly speaking, it is noted that this feature could work similarly to banking applications.
It is not known how far it will take for this digital wallet to officially see the light. If the pattern is replicated, we would have a new edition of the Google I / O conference in May, where it is expected that more news will be announced for Android R. In addition to the corresponding technical requirements that are behind the implementation of this class of features, the final word have the phone manufacturers, who select the qualities of Android to enable based on the proposal they offer.
It should be remembered that this API is currently under development. We can still learn more details about it and especially, being in the era of Big Data, know what security and privacy guarantees they will offer us.
You can see other highlights from Qualcomm's announcements about its new mobile platforms in our previous post.