Google launches Android Ready SE Alliance to drive adoption of digital credentials

Google lAndroid Ready SE Alliance logo
OPEN SOURCE: The alliance aims to accelerate the adoption of new use cases for Android devices

Google has joined with secure element (SE) vendors to launch the Android Ready SE Alliance to accelerate the adoption of new use cases for Android devices including digital car keys and mobile IDs.

The alliance is creating and rolling out a set of open source, validated and ready-to-use SE applets for use in conjunction with tamper-resistant hardware, including a general availability version of the Android StrongBox for SE keystore implementation.

“It is important to note that these features are not just for phones and tablets. StrongBox is also applicable to WearOS, Android Auto Embedded and Android TV,” Google says.

SE vendors partnering with Google in the new alliance at launch include Giesecke+Devrient, Kigen, NXP, STMicroelectronics and Thales.

“The alliance was created to make discrete tamper-resistant hardware-backed security the lowest common denominator for the Android ecosystem,” Google’s Android Ready SE page for developers explains.

“Under this alliance, Google and the SE vendors offer a growing list of tested open-source implementations of hardware-backed security applets for new and emerging use cases.”

Secure devices

According to Google, the use cases that the new hardware-backed security applets will enable include digital keys for cars, other vehicles and homes, digital identity credentials such as mobile driving licences, national IDs and passports, as well as digital wallets and other e-money solutions.

“OEMs that adopt Android Ready SE can produce devices that are highly secure and allow for remote updates to enable compelling new cases as they are introduced into the Android platform. Consumers will benefit from their devices being more secure and updatable with new capabilities,” Google adds.

“A major goal of this alliance is to enable a consistent, interoperable and demonstrably secure applets across the Android ecosystem.

“Validated implementations of Android Ready SE applets build even stronger trust in the Android platform.”

A Google blog post lays out the requirements for OEMs wishing to adopt Android Ready SE and notes that “several” Android OEMs are working with Google “to bring these next generation features for our users”.