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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

Google to soon let users login to services with fingeprint or screen lock

Google’s authentication system will enable user’s fingerprint or screen lock to login to certain services. Users will no longer need to enter passwords to login to these services.

tech Updated: Aug 13, 2019 18:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Google going password-less with new authentication system.
Google going password-less with new authentication system.(Shutterstock)

Google is making it easier for users to verify their identity by introducing fingerprint or screen lock instead of passwords. This feature is first available for Google Pixel smartphones. It will soon roll out to all smartphones running Android 7 Nougat and above.

Once the feature is widely available Android users can opt for fingerprint or screen lock instead of passwords. This feature comes handy for people who cannot remember passwords. To use this feature, Android users need to have their Google account enabled on their phone and on services as well. A screen lock and fingerprint should also be enabled on the device.

This feature is similar to what Google Pay uses at present. Users can authenticate Google Pay by using their fingerprint or screen lock other than their UPI PIN. Google said it will enable the feature for certain Google services but hasn’t specified which.

Google’s new authentication process is built on the FIDO2 standards, W3C WebAuthn and FIDO CTAP. Introduced earlier this March, WebAuthn allows platforms to enable an API which allows sites to connect with a security device when a user logs in to their accounts. This security device can be a biometric-based or a USB token.

With FIDO2, the fingerprint authentication works on native apps and web services as well. This means that users can register their fingerprint once and use it on Gmail’s web version.

Google says that the user’s fingerprint is never sent to the company’s servers. However, a cryptographic proof is sent to Google’s servers.