Google will now let Android users log in to some services without a password

Google now allows you to sign in to some of your Chrome services on Android using only your fingerprint, instead of having to type a password. The function is available as of today for some Android phones, and will be implemented on all Android 7 or later phones "in the next few days". According to a Google help page, the feature also allows you to log in using whatever method you have set to unlock your phone, which can include pins and pattern unlock.

Android phones now allow you to use your fingerprint to authenticate Google Pay purchases and sign in to applications. What's new here is to be able to use that same fingerprint to sign in to one of Google's web services within the Chrome browser. At this time, you can use the functionality to view and edit the passwords that Google has saved for you at passwords.google.com, but Google says it plans to add the functionality to more Google and Google Cloud services in the future. [19659003] When you visit passwords.google.com you will be asked to verify your identity with a fingerprint.

Image: Google

Not having to remember a password means that this is a much more convenient way to log in, and it is also much more secure. Passwords have all kinds of vulnerabilities, even before considering the fact that many people reuse them in multiple sites. However, with this method, credentials are stored locally on your device so that they cannot be intercepted or hacked into a company's servers, and they are also impossible to "phishing" by tricking you into visiting a fake website. Using a password manager along with two-factor authentication helps mitigate many of these vulnerabilities, but the new method used by Google completely eliminates them.

If you have a compatible Android phone, you can test the functionality now by going to passwords.google.com using the Chrome application on your phone. This service allows you to manage all the passwords that Chrome has saved for you. If you touch any of these saved passwords, Google will ask you to "verify that you are", at that time, you can authenticate using your fingerprint or any other method you normally use to unlock your phone. You will need to have your personal Google account added to your Android device for this to work.

Google's new functionality is built using FIDO2 and the WebAuthn protocol, an open standard that sites can use to protect web-based logins. FIDO2 is much safer than normal passwords. All Android devices running version 7.0 or later are FIDO2 certified, and Google allows you to use an Android phone as a 2FA security key to log in to your account using the same technology.

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