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Android's digital wallet could eventually hold your driver's license

You wouldn't need a special app to show your ID.
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bagira22 via Getty Images

Governments have been exploring digital driver's licenses for a while, but there are quite a few flaws with existing approaches. You usually have to rely on a proprietary app, sometimes with uncertain security... and what happens if your phone is low on battery when you need to flash your credentials? Google might have a solution. XDA has discovered that Google is working on an IdentityCredential framework that would securely store and display digital IDs, including driver's licenses. It could also display your ID even if there isn't enough power to start Android -- you'd just need the power for a secure chip and a "low-power communication channel."

Google would take steps to prevent unauthorized access to your ID card. If there is security hardware, it could create dynamic authentication codes that would be difficult to crack. If not, the phone could rely on remotely stored authentication keys that prove the information is legitimate. Android could only show a handful of information when relevant (say, your age when buying alcohol), or impose stricter security implementations depending on the nature of your documents.

Don't expect it any time soon. The technology is only just getting started, making it an unlikely candidate for this year's Android Q. Whenever it does show, though, it could help make digital driver's licenses a practical reality. You really could leave your wallet at home, even if you normally need to carry a pack of IDs.

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