Apple, Google and Microsoft committed themselves to expand support for a passwordless sign-in standard. The goal is to make it easier for websites and applications to offer consistent, secure and easy passwordless sign-ins.
It’s a move toward greater support for biometric security systems like the ones already included in iPhone, Mac and iPad.
Forget those passwords, forever
Apple calls password-only authentication “one of the biggest security problems on the web.” Having to keep track of passwords is hard on users, who end up reusing a handful of them they can remember, which isn’t very secure.
The FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium worked with hundreds of technology companies and service providers to create passwordless sign-in standards. These are already built into the platforms created by Apple, Google and Microsoft. But there’s room for improvement.
On Thursday, the makers of macOS, Windows, Android, etc. promised support for a pair of new features.
One, users will be able to automatically access their FIDO sign-in credentials (sometimes called a passkey) on multiple devices, even new ones, without having to reenroll every account.
And two, FIDO authentication on an iPhone or other handset will be able to sign in to an app or website on a nearby device, no matter what operating system or browser they are running.
These new capabilities are expected to become available across Apple, Google and Microsoft platforms in the coming year.
“Working with the industry to establish new, more secure sign-in methods that offer better protection and eliminate the vulnerabilities of passwords is central to our commitment to building products that offer maximum security and a transparent user experience — all with the goal of keeping users’ personal information safe,” said Kurt Knight, Apple’s Senior Director of Platform Product Marketing.