APPLE, GOOGLE AND MICROSOFT WANT TO REMOVE PASSWORDS
Good morning dear readers of Tecnogalaxy, today we will talk about Apple, Google and Microsoft who are trying to remove all passwords.
Apple, Google and Microsoft have great plans to delete your password.
Working with a standard group called the FIDO Alliance, all three companies are supporting a system where your phone or computer automatically registers you in all your online accounts, using face detection on the device or fingerprint recognition to verify your identity. It would be like having a password manager, but without the actual passwords.
The news of the potential disappearance of the password has produced a lot of emphasis in recent weeks and for an understandable reason: too many people use the same weak passwords everywhere, exposing themselves to serious security risks. Permanent password deletion is a way to protect people from themselves.
But the push to make passwords obsolete could also have consequences: handing your digital passkeys to Apple, Microsoft, and Google, making it easier for those companies to trap you within their ecosystems.
HOW SYSTEMS WITHOUT PASSWORDS WILL WORK
FIDO’s proposal is technically called “multi-device FIDO credential“, but large technology companies colloquially call it “passkey“. The idea is that when you unlock your phone with your face or fingerprint, you have actually proven who you are. Imagine, for example, wanting to create a Twitter account. Instead of having you set a password in the Twitter app, your phone will generate a hidden passkey and store it securely on your device. Twitter itself never learns or stores the passkey; instead, it receives a credential from your phone that verifies your identity and gives you access.
The benefits of this approach are twofold: you don’t need to remember new passwords for each app or learn how to use a password manager and the app or website doesn’t have to worry about losing users’ passwords in a security breach.
“We want people to get passwords from their servers,” says Andrew Shikiar, executive director of FIDO Alliance.
FIDO passkeys must also not be associated with the phone. Apple and Google plan to sync passkeys through their cloud services, so if you create a Twitter account on your iPhone and want to sign in on your Mac, you’ll get the same instant access experience, with the Mac’s fingerprint reader that verifies your identity.
This multi-device approach is also how FIDO will address upgrading to a new device or replacing a lost one. When you buy a new phone, you’ll be able to use the old one or your computer to sync passkeys via Bluetooth.
This is quite similar to how Apple and Google’s integrated access key managers work today. Apple, for example, can already create and store logins for you on iPhone and Mac and sync them via iCloud keychain. Google can do the same with Android phones and the Chrome browser. The FIDO system relies only on these approaches by deleting passwords.
NO WAY OUT (YET)
The current FIDO proposal does not foresee any mechanism for the mass transfer of access keys between ecosystems. If you want to switch from an Android phone to an iPhone, or vice versa, you won’t be able to move all your passwords easily.
“We don’t currently have a batch export method,” says Shikiar. “I think it’s probably a future iteration.”
On the contrary, the tangible nature of “passwords” makes them quite easy to transfer. Major web browsers can import passwords from other browsers with just a couple of clicks, and most password managers can download user logins to a spreadsheet. csv, allowing users to manually upload them to a competing service.
FIDO plans to allow users to copy passkeys one at a time, so if you create an account with an iPhone and want access on a Windows PC, Microsoft can create its own passkey for that service once you’ve authenticated through your phone. However, moving passwords one by one will not be feasible for users who want to leave a particular ecosystem and have saved tens or hundreds of logins.
That’s all for now about the evolution of passwords, to a future article.
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