Google announces to replace passwords for Android users

Google will be replacing passwords for about 1.7 billion Android users


Search engine giant Google has announced that it will begin replacing passwords as a method of verifying identify online for the Android users. The announcement was made in a Google Security Blog post on August 12, 2019 by Google software engineer, Dongjing He and Google product Manager, Christian Brand.

The blog post explained that, “new security technologies are surpassing passwords in terms of both strength and convenience.” And bearing this in mind the post continued that the search engine is “happy to announce that you can verify your identity by using your fingerprint or screen lock instead of a password when visiting certain Google services.”

This can be an indication that the users might soon have a password-less future in pretty much the same way that software giant Microsoft had signaled an intention to replace Widows 10 passwords for 800 million users. In both the cases, the common denominator is FIDO2 authentication. The FIDO Alliance means Fast Identity Online, which is an industry body on a mission to solve the problem of passwords with the help of open standards to drive technologies that can securely replace them. FIDO2 is also a set of such standards that enable logins that are backed by strong cryptographic security.

The changes that Google is preparing for, is a result of years of collaboration between Google and many other organizations in the FIDO Alliance and the W3C which is the World Wide Web Consortium and had recently approved a standard for a web authentication application programming interface known as the WebAuthn, after three years of talking and testing. This is also the first time the search engine has enabled the same biometric credentials, your fingerprint to be used by native Android apps as well as web services. The users can register the fingerprints once on their smartphone and then use it for securely accessing the apps and also the web services that makes it something like a big deal for future.

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