Telegram received a new update today, bumping the app to v4.9. With it, we're getting Passport, a new authorization method by which you can securely store and share personal identification information with apps and services that request it. As Telegram puts it, "simply upload your documents once, then instantly share your data with services that require real-world ID."
Telegram Passport – a unified authorization method for services that require personal identification.
Store your identity documents and personal data in the Telegram cloud using End-to-End Encryption.
Instantly share your data with services that require real-world ID (finance, ICOs, etc.).
For a real-life implementation, see www.ePayments.com/tg – the first electronic payments system to integrate Telegram Passport.
At first glance, the privacy-aware folks might balk at the idea of Passport. But Telegram assures users that everything is secured with end-to-end encryption (you have to make a separate password during setup), meaning that the company can't see anything personal. If that's not quite enough to alleviate your misgivings, Passport will eventually move to a decentralized cloud system.
This is Phase II of the Telegram Login project (following Telegram Login for websites) and third-party verification is on the way. For now, if you're Android, you can check your uploaded documents via Settings -> Privacy & Security -> Telegram Passport. I got mine going with the example that is given in the blog post over on ePayments.com. If you just want to test things out in a non-real world setting, Telegram has graciously created a sample that you check out right here.
The update should be live for everyone in the Play Store, but in case it's not, you can grab it over on APK Mirror.