Apple joins Fido Alliance: Does this mean no more passwords on Apple devices?
A part of Fido’s work is to find ways to replace passwords altogether and creating standards for tech-like biometric authentication and physical security keys. Apple already has some of this in use.Updated: Feb 14, 2020 18:12 IST
For Apple, device security has always been a big deal. The tech-giant recently joined Fido Alliance as a board member and this is all kinds of important as far as passwords and password managers are concerned.
The Fido Alliance is an “open industry group” whose mission is to create “authentication standards to help reduce the world’s over-reliance on passwords”. You might not be very familiar with the alliance but you might have heard of at least one of its three sets of authentication protocols – Fido Universal Second Factor (FIDO U2F), FIDO Universal Authentication Framework (FIDO UAF) and FIDO2.
To familiarise you further, Fido Alliance board members include well-known tech bigwigs like Amazon, ARM, Facebook, Google, Lenovo, American Express, Microsoft, Samsung, Visa, PayPal, Mastercard and now Apple as well.
The news of Apple coming on as a board member was spotted last week by French website MacG. Fido has now officially updated its webpage to include Apple in its board.
So, what does this mean for Apple?
A part of Fido’s work is to find ways to replace passwords altogether and creating standards for tech-like biometric authentication and physical security keys. Apple already has some of this in use, for example Face ID, using an Apple Watch to unlock a MacBook etc. Apple also sometimes asks users to “verify their identity” on the laptop by granting permission on the iPhone.
This two-factor authentication that Apple uses is relatively fool-proof and should be more widespread and with the company joining Fido Alliance, this could be a step towards making this possible across platforms and not just within the Apple ecosystem.
Apple has been working on integrating U2F for a while now including support for FIDO2 security keys in iOS 13.3 and Safari 13. But this does not mean Apple is doing away with passwords any time soon, so hold on.