Google To Allow Android Users To Log Into Certain Services Without Password

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom in display fingerprint sensor

Logging into some Google services on Android is now as easy as unlocking your phone

But unless you use a password manager (something we'd strongly recommend) or have a superb memory, remembering those passwords can get a tad hard. Users will now be able verify their identity through the screen unlock function via their Android devices.

As reported by The Verge, the search giant has begun to let Android version 7 (and up) users verify their identity on some Google services (via Chrome) using non-password authentication methods.

"An important benefit of using FIDO2 versus interacting with the native fingerprint APIs on Android is that these biometric capabilities are now, for the first time, available on the web, allowing the same credentials be used by both native apps and web services". It's actually very secure as it's based on the FIDO2 standards, W3C WebAuthn, and FIDO CTAP. Your fingerprint or screen unlock system authenticates you on-device and then simply communicates with Google's servers with an "authentic" or "not authentic", which means Google never sees your fingerprint, password, etc.

The technology is secure and is essentially a two-factor authentication method that uses a Bluetooth-based protocol to set up a device-specific security key.

Your fingerprint (PIN number, pattern or password) is really just tied to a unique private key also stored on your device, which performs the account unlocking process.

For this type of login method to work, though, it's essential that the handset has lock screen security enabled.

What Google did say in its blog posts was "you will start seeing more places where local alternatives to passwords are accepted as an authentication mechanism for Google and Google Cloud services", so that gives us some hope for a password less future.

The new feature is arriving on Google Pixel devices today and access will arrive on all Android phones running Nougat or later over the next few days.

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