LONDON: Google began rolling out its passkey technology on Thursday, in what the tech giant calls the “beginning of the end” of passwords.
The new security mechanism is designed to replace passwords entirely by allowing authentication with fingerprint ID, facial ID or pin on the phone or device you use for authentication.
“We’ve taken a giant step forward on the journey towards a passwordless future,” Google said on Wednesday.
“We’ve begun rolling out support for passkeys across Google Accounts on all major platforms. This means users can now take advantage of passkeys across Google Services for a passwordless sign-in experience.”
Google said users can access their accounts with the same biometric authentication they use to unlock phones.
A passkey can be created for each device used, or one key can be shared across multiple devices using an app. Each is unique to the service for which it is used, meaning if one account is hacked, others will be safe.
The technology was developed by Google, Apple and Microsoft as part of the “Fido”, or Fast Identity Online, industry group that pushes for alternative authentication methods.
Apple has introduced the technology in iOS16 and the latest MacOS release, while Microsoft has begun using it through the Authenticator app.
Google said the new technology makes sign-ins in any device “both easier to use and more secure than passwords.”
It added that passkeys make devices less vulnerable to hacking and prevent phishing, SIM-swap and other methods of stealing passwords. Data is never shared, rather it is stored in a cryptographic private key on the device.
Launched on World Password Day, Google said the new technology was still at an early stage and it would continue offering passwords and 2-stage-verification processes.