Google has officially announced via a blog post that its trusted users can now verify their identity for most if not all Google services by using the fingerprint sensor, PIN or pattern lock of their supported Android smartphones which is actually really cool and a tad bit stress free. Isn’t it???
As of now, the feature is available only on Google Pixel smartphones which is a bit of a bummer right??? and will soon be rolled out to more Android phones running version 7.0 (Nougat) or a higher build of Google’s operating system. Currently, Google Pixel phone users can visit Google’s password manager dashboard and tap on any of the websites or services listed on the page to check the cool new interface.
On the authentication page, users will see the option to either use their fingerprint sensor or enter the PIN/pattern lock of their Android phone for their identity verification. However, users must probably have their linked Google account already signed in on their compatible Pixel phones for this to work. Once the login is verified, users can access the password reset page of the selected web service.
This approach is actually really more secure than the former method, as it relies on the local authentication protocol such as fingerprint sensor or PIN to verify the user’s identity and just relays a YES or NO response to the web service’s server, instead of sending over the password itself, thus reducing the risk of interception by malicious parties.
Android gained FIDO2 certification to enable password-free login for compatible apps and services earlier this year, following Google Chrome’s newly added compliance for the WebAuthn API. The local verification based on bio-metrics employs the FIDO2 standards and will be rolled out for more web services and devices soon. The whole authentication system has been made possible by the adoption of WebAuthn APIs, that are aimed at reducing the need for a password for logins and eventually protecting users against phishing.
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