Google is preparing to follow through with a beta launch of its own digital ID solution, suggests a technical document pertaining to a Google Play System update slated for this month. As XDA Developers notes, the partial changelog includes a “Beta feature to allow users from selected US state(s) to digitize their state ID/driver’s license into the Google Wallet for convenient, private and secure presentation.”
Google first revealed plans to support digital IDs in May of this year, when the tech giant announced that a revamped Google Wallet app would replace Google Pay in most of the countries that offered support for the latter. It was clear that the company was looking to build a rival to Apple’s own pioneering mobile ID solution, but Google wasn’t yet prepared to offer a timeline for its own solution’s launch.
It still isn’t: Google has not formally announced the impending launch of its digital ID, but it seems clear from the Google Play System changelog that the launch is imminent. Among the lingering questions are the matter of which states will actually support Google’s digital IDs.
For its part, Apple has only managed to bring its mobile ID solution to three states so far this year. It started with Arizona in March, and then launched the mobile ID solution in Maryland in May. It was only last month that Colorado became the third state to offer support for the mobile ID – which Apple typically frames as a mobile driver’s license, but can also take the form of a general virtual state ID card.
It’s a tricky business. Offering consumers a digital version of an official, government-issued state ID requires the official sanction and endorsement of the government in question, and Apple has reportedly spent months negotiating with various state governments in the US. Presumably, Google has been doing the same, and it seems fair to expect some information about which states will be among the first to support its own digital ID system when the beta feature rolls out this month.
Source: XDA Developers