Android phones are now able to save and display Covid-19 vaccination cards, essentially making them digital vaccine passports.
On Wednesday, Google announced that it’s updating its core Google Pay API to allow for the storage of vaccination cards.
Google has said that they are giving developers from government agencies and certain healthcare organisations the ability to circulate Covid vaccination cards directly to a user’s Google Pay app.
Typically, Google Pay stores items such as gift cards, loyalty cards, and tickets. However, in this case, the app will not be required for users to access their Covid card.
The ‘Covid card’ will show information about when a user was vaccinated and what vaccine they received. The feature also includes the ability to store test results, and it will initially be rolled out for US android users only. Google said that all users have to do is head over to the respectable portal of their healthcare provider, find the vaccine card, and click “Save to phone.” The digital passport will then be available to access from the home screen.
However, on the Google support page, the tech company stated that when the Covid card is shown to third parties, Google will store information about how you use the vaccination card, the number of times you use it, and on what days. The tech corporation has stated that they are not retaining a copy of the card, therefore anyone who needs to store their Covid card on multiple devices must download it individually on each phone from their healthcare provider or other organisation’s app.
In the US, local governments have been trialing digital passports for some time in the form of QR codes that verify a user’s vaccination status.