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Tech Giants Unite on Password-less Security

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All of the major companies are committing to password-less logins.

Since 2013, the Fast IDentity Online alliance, or “FIDO,” has been working toward a new standard of security and authentication that relies less on traditional text passwords. FIDO is made up of multiple major tech companies, including the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft, and this week, they all committed to making the original goal a reality.

The three major tech giants are cooperating on a new password-less authentication system, relying instead on things like paired mobile devices with direct passkey connections. Opting for direct device-to-device authentication would make it much more difficult for hackers and scammers to remotely access your data, as well as eliminate the need for memorizing passwords.

“Just as we design our products to be intuitive and capable, we also design them to be private and secure,” said Kurt Knight, senior director of platform product marketing at Apple. “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.”

“With passkeys on your mobile device, you’re able to sign in to an app or service on nearly any device, regardless of the platform or browser the device is running,” Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft’s vice president for security, compliance, identity, and privacy told The Verge. “For example, users can sign-in on a Google Chrome browser that’s running on Microsoft Windows—using a passkey on an Apple device.”

“This extended FIDO support being announced today will make it possible for websites to implement, for the first time, an end-to-end passwordless experience with phishing-resistant security,” Sampath Srinivas, product management director for secure authentication at Google and president of the FIDO Alliance, told The Verge. “This includes both the first sign-in to a website and repeat logins. When passkey support becomes available across the industry in 2022 and 2023, we’ll finally have the internet platform for a truly passwordless future.”