Google has taken a step into the future without passwords and SMS confirmations. Users of services from the Internet giant can now more easily log into their accounts through the so-called Passkey.
Starting today, Google users can opt out of passwords and two-step verification codes when signing in to their account. The Passkey cryptographic key solution only requires a pre-authenticated device, such as a smartphone, Google’s blog said.
Passkey is a more secure and convenient alternative to passwords enforced by Google, Apple, Microsoft and other technology companies in the FIDO Alliance. The technology allows replacing traditional passwords and SMS confirmations with a PIN code or biometric authentication such as a fingerprint or Face ID.
The Passkey cryptographic key does not share biometric data with Google or any other company, making it reliably secure as there is no password that can be stolen.
The new feature is available on mobile devices running iOS 16, Android 9 and later. When logging in from a computer, a biometric verification request is sent to any compatible device associated with the owner’s account. If one is not at hand or is lost, Google will allow access through the “Use password from another device” option and will “deauthorize” the keys from all devices.
For the foreseeable future, Google Accounts will continue to support existing sign-in methods alongside Passkey. After all, not all people have devices that support biometrics. But Google plans to encourage users to switch to the new technology and will closely monitor how their sign-in habits change.
In December, the Chrome browser received Passkey support, but the sites and services that support the technology are still relatively few. The dedicated 1Password page contains a short list of compatible resources. In the near future, Apple, as one of the developers of the standard, should also implement Passkey support.