The FIDO alliance around the three tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft is planning a future without passwords. Thanks to new functions, biometric data will be synchronized as keys via the cloud.
New FIDO standard to replace passwords
On “Password Day,” the FIDO alliance led by Apple, Google and Microsoft concretized the effort to create a password-free future. The new FIDO standard, which was developed together with W3C, is intended to completely replace passwords in the future. Already in the course of the coming year, the new standard should find its way into the operating systems Android, Windows and macOS/iOS.
The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) credentials will be made available as passkeys on additional and new devices in the future. Devices that do not allow such a biometric login will be able to log in via smartphone.
Passwords and verification via SMS code are thus to be completely replaced by a biometric login in the future by logging in via fingerprint, face scan or using the device PIN.
Keys in the cloud
Corresponding FIDO keys are also encrypted and stored in the cloud, so they can be accessed anywhere at any time. At Apple, for example, keys are backed up directly to the iCloud keychain and encrypted end-to-end, as Apple engineer Garrett Davidson reveals.
The FIDO Alliance hopes this will provide an additional level of security over passwords, which users often choose are not particularly secure and can be quickly hacked. Two-factor authentication, which is used today, also has weaknesses. Both systems are to be completely replaced by the new standard.
New FIDO features
The new standard for logging in is already supported by many devices or browsers and allows logging in via fingerprint or Face ID or facial recognition. However, only after registering for the corresponding website and assigning a password.
This is to change: Via the so-called Multi Device FIDO credentials, the keys are to be used on multiple devices without any problems and without the need for a new registration. A login on the desktop PC could then be completed via smartphone. The new FIDO key functions are to be integrated by Apple, Google and Microsoft in the course of 2023.