In the United States, work is already underway to create a standard for the creation of a digital driving license that can be managed through a smartphone. But there are many aspects to be taken into consideration, mainly related to safety.

If it is relatively easy to have maximum control over a physical license, it is more difficult to guarantee digital security, as it is always possible for data to be compromised due to a vulnerability.

It should also be considered that the smartphone on which the data of the digital license is present must have enough energy to run Android, otherwise it becomes difficult to show the document in case of control.

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Google is working on solution of both problems with and it could only come with Android R. Taking advantage of the particular hardware that will be equipped with smartphones will be able to ensure security and gain access to data even when the phone is off.

A sample image of a digital driver’s license accessed through the LA Wallet app. Source: Envoc
A sample image of a digital driver’s license accessed through the LA Wallet app. Source: Envoc

For the latter solution it is sufficient to use an NFC connection, provided that the smartphone has a hardware component that can share the credentials on demand. Smartphones like Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 3 already have a similar solution on board, which is also valid for ensuring the security of digital data.

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The new API also supports data storage, but it is a solution whose security can be put at risk by vulnerabilities such as Specter and Meltdown. Google’s solution which is unlikely to be released with Android Q, is based on ISO 18013 standards and can therefore also be used for other types of digital documents such as passports or identity documents.

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