As early as 2018, the Pixel 3 came with the tamper-proof hardware enclave called Titan M. Now Google is founding the Android Ready SE Alliance, where hardware manufacturers can work with Google to implement the digital key technology.
Android Ready SE Alliance – Digital Car Key and More
StrongBox is an implementation of the Keymaster HAL, which is located in a hardware security module. It’s a major security enhancement for Android devices and allows for features to be taken into account that weren’t possible before. Digital keys, driver’s license, ID cards or wallets, all of these functions must run on tamper-proof hardware in order to protect the integrity of the executable applications and the user’s data.
Most smartphones already have such a secure element. To accelerate the rollout of these new Android use cases, Google is now establishing the Android Ready SE Alliance known. SE providers are teaming up with Google to develop a range of open source, validated and ready-to-use applets. The StrongBox is now available globally for interested manufacturers.
In the announcement, Google says it is already working with hardware partners (without naming them) to manufacture devices with a Secure Element, a special chip that handles encryption and decryption at the hardware level. The goal is to develop a solution that can be used widely and with great compatibility in phones, tablets, wearables, cars, and even televisions.
How far it will reach the rest of the Android world, aside from the Pixel, will depend on many different other factors and it remains to be seen.