Google is intensifying its efforts to push users away from traditional passwords and towards passkeys, a more secure technology. This move marks a significant shift in the landscape of user authentication and could potentially change the way we access our digital accounts.
The Shift to Passkeys
Starting immediately, Google users will be able to create passkeys and use them to sign into their accounts, avoiding passwords when possible. This means that the next time users sign into their Gmail, YouTube, or other Google-run service, they’ll see a prompt to create and use a passkey instead of a password.
The Benefits of Passkeys
Passkeys are being touted as a replacement for passwords. By using your fingerprint, a scan of your face, or your screen lock PIN, you’re automatically logged into an app or website (once you approve the request). They work by generating a pair of keys—one public, which is stored on the cloud, and one private, which is stored on the device. If a server is compromised, accounts are still protected, as the hacker won’t have both sets of keys.
The Future of User Authentication
Google’s move towards passkeys is part of a larger trend in the tech industry. Microsoft, Uber, and eBay have enabled the technology. And Apple, in June, said passkeys would be supported with the launch of iOS 17.
In conclusion, Google’s decision to make passkeys the default option for user authentication marks a significant step towards making “passwords a rarity, and eventually obsolete”. As more tech companies follow suit, we could be looking at a future where forgetting your password is a thing of the past.