In a press release, Apple said that the three companies are expanding support for a common passwordless sign-in standard created by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium. The new capability will allow websites and apps to offer consistent, secure, and easy passwordless sign-ins to consumers across devices and platforms.
It’s not just the three big tech companies but hundreds of technology companies and service providers from around the world worked within the FIDO Alliance and W3C to create the passwordless sign-in standards. Apple, Google, and Microsoft have led the development of this expanded set of capabilities and are now building support into their respective platforms.
How will passwordless sign-in work?
Apple, Google and Microsoft platforms already support FIDO Alliance standards to enable passwordless sign-in on billions of industry-leading devices. However, it required users to sign in to each website or app with each device before they can use passwordless functionality. Users will now get two new capabilities for more seamless and secure passwordless sign-ins:
- Allow users to automatically access their FIDO sign-in credentials (referred to by some as a “passkey”) on many of their devices, even new ones, without having to re-enroll every account.
- Enable users to use FIDO authentication on their mobile device to sign in to an app or website on a nearby device, regardless of the OS platform or browser they are running.
These new capabilities are expected to become available across Apple, Google, and Microsoft platforms over the course of the coming year.
The new method, as per Apple, will protect against phishing and sign-in will be more secure when compared to passwords and legacy multi-factor technologies such as one-time passcodes sent over SMS.
“Just as we design our products to be intuitive and capable, we also design them to be private and secure,” said Kurt Knight, Apple’s Senior Director of Platform Product Marketing. “Working with the industry to establish new, more secure sign-in methods that offer better protection and eliminate the vulnerabilities of passwords is central to our commitment to building products that offer maximum security and a transparent user experience — all with the goal of keeping users’ personal information safe.”
“The complete shift to a passwordless world will begin with consumers making it a natural part of their lives. Any viable solution must be safer, easier, and faster than the passwords and legacy multi-factor authentication methods used today,” said Alex Simons, Corporate Vice President, Identity Program Management at Microsoft.
Mark Risher, Senior Director of Product Management, Google said, “For Google, it represents nearly a decade of work we’ve done alongside FIDO, as part of our continued innovation towards a passwordless future. We look forward to making FIDO-based technology available across Chrome, ChromeOS, Android and other platforms, and encourage app and website developers to adopt it, so people around the world can safely move away from the risk and hassle of passwords.”