Google has been working to kill off the traditional password as a means of account access for some time, but until now, it hadn’t revealed how it planned to do so beyond enforcing 2SV (two-step verification) on millions of more accounts and encouraging users to perform the occasional security checkup.
Today passwords are essential to online safety, but threats like phishing, scams, and poor password hygiene continue to pose a risk to users. Google has long recognized these issues, which is why we have created defenses like 2-Step Verification and Google Password Manager.The Keyword
Despite these efforts, the company sees a need to innovate in new ways and do something that no one has yet to do with passwords – kill them entirely. In honor of World Password Day this year, the company has planned to implement passwordless support for FIDO sign-in standards in Android and Chrome (as have Apple and Microsoft).
This will simplify sign-ins across devices, websites, and applications no matter the platform — without the need for a single password. These capabilities will be available over the course of the coming year.The Keyword
So how will it work, exactly? Well, that’s the beautiful part! It will just work. Literally, you’ll go to sign into a website or an app on your phone, and just by unlocking your phone, you’ll be logged in. This operates this way thanks to a stored FIDO credential passkey that’s used to unlock your online account once it detects that your device has been verified. You’ll only be able to do this if you have a lock on your phone, of course.
So long as your phone is nearby while you’re on your computer, you’ll see the prompt above with colorful patterns which are simply Googley symbolism meant to visually represent your unique device passkey (it’s actually not the passkey itself as that all happens behind the scenes).
Google hopes that the passkey will bring us all much closer to a “passwordless future”, and I think that its work in conjunction with the mapping out of such a vision across the internet and all of its efforts collectively will certainly make that a possibility before long. You can see the roadmap Google detailed and the work its done toward this goal since 2008 below: