Your phone can now verify you in Google Passwords

Logging into some Google services on Android is now as easy as unlocking your phone

Google announced today that you can use the fingerprint sensor to sign in to some of its services when you're using Chrome for Android.

If you have a compatible Android handset, then you can try the functionality out now by heading over to passwords.google.com using the Chrome app on your phone. A fingerprint isn't a hard requirement, but it is a lot easier than tapping out a PIN/password or pattern. Users will now be able verify their identity through the screen unlock function via their Android devices.

So what is the advantage for Android users? Many people tend to create simple passwords so they're memorable, but that also leaves them vulnerable to cracking when passwords leak.

The technology is secure and is essentially a two-factor authentication method that uses a Bluetooth-based protocol to set up a device-specific security key. The problems with passwords are numerous, but things are slowly changing with biometrics, hardware security keys, and so on.

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Your fingerprint is never sent to Google's servers - it is securely stored on your device, and only a cryptographic proof that you've correctly scanned it is sent to Google's servers. First, your device must be running Android Nougat or higher and contain your Google Account.

"As we continue to embrace the FIDO2 standard, you will start seeing more places where local alternatives to passwords are accepted as an authentication mechanism for Google and Google Cloud services". While Google has not overtly said that this feature will be rolling out to website that use Log in with Google we sure hope that that is on their road map.

At the time of writing, it was unclear which Google services could be used with this new password-less login method, with the only example provided in the blog post now being for the company's online Password Manager.

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