Google to allow sign in with the help of user’s fingerprint on Android device

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Google to allow sign in with the help of user’s fingerprint on Android device
google fingerprint log in, google fingerprint sign in, google services, google cloud services, FIDO2 standards, W3C WebAuthn, FIDO CTAP, alternative google authentication
Google’s new feature is built using the FIDO2 standards, W3C WebAuthn and FIDO CTAP, and it will provide a simpler and more secure authentication experience. (Representational image. Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Google has announced a new feature wherein you will be able to verify your identity and sign in by using your fingerprint or screen lock on the phone, instead of typing a password when trying to use certain Google services. The company has rolled out this latest feature to its Pixel range of smartphones and has said that it will be coming to all Android-enabled devices on Android 7 or above in the next few days.

The latest feature will provide a simpler and more secure authentication experience, the technology giant said in a blog update. The feature is a result of the company’s years of collaboration with various other technology organisations under the FIDO Alliance and the W3C.

According to the blog, a key benefit of using FIDO2 against that of native fingerprint APIs on Android is that these biometric features are now available on the web, allowing the same credentials to be used by both Android native apps as well as web services. It basically means that users only need to register their fingerprint with a service just once and after that they can use the same fingerprint on the native apps and on web services.

The fundamental part of the FIDO2 design is such that the fingerprint will never be sent to Google’s servers. Only a cryptographic proof of a correctly scanned fingerprint is sent to Google for logging in. The fingerprint is securely stored in the user’s smartphone.

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Those users who want to try out this new feature can do the following steps:

Open Chrome app on their Android smartphone.

After that, they will need to navigate to https://passwords.google.com.

Then they need to choose a site to view or manage a saved password.

After this, they have to follow the instructions to confirm that it is they who are trying to sign in.

Google claims that its automated defenses securely block the overwhelming majority of sign-in attempts even if an attacker has a person’s username or password. Users can further protect their accounts with two-step verification, including Titan Security Keys and Android phone’s built-in security key.

Google says that as it continues to embrace the FIDO2 standard, users will see more places where local alternatives to passwords are accepted as a mechanism of authentication for Google and Google Cloud services.

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