Passwords have all kinds of vulnerabilities, even before you consider the fact that a lot of people reuse them across multiple sites. However, that's only true for one service and select Android phones right now. Android users (starting from the Google Pixel phones) can now verify their identities for Google services by using their fingerprints or screen lock instead of a password (hurray!). With this new system, logging into services - both Google's and those from other companies - can be as easy as a tap on a fingerprint reader.
To use this feature, Android smartphone users will need to update their Google Play Services application and enable the functionality in their Android smartphone settings.
The new capability follows Google's announcement in February that Android 7 and above were now certified under the FIDO2 standard which, along with companion standard WebAuthn, should reduce users' reliance on passwords.
Most of the big tech firms have been working for years to consign passwords to history, but few have been so proactive as Google.
The technology is secure and is essentially a two-factor authentication method that uses a Bluetooth-based protocol to set up a device-specific security key.
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Your fingerprint (PIN number, pattern or password) is really just tied to a unique private key also stored on your device, which performs the account unlocking process.
Google says users shouldn't be anxious about their fingerprints being sent to its servers because the fingerprint is actually registered and stored on the device. That means that the part of your brain that stored these passwords can be freed up for more important things like pop culture trivia.
If you just said, what the what now, don't worry so did we at first, basically you can now verify your credentials on Google websites via the mobile browser on Android using your "lock screen security" method.
Until the features become active, users will only be able to view and edit the passwords that Google has saved for you.