The FIDO Alliance, whose members include everyone from Google to Samsung, just announced new password-free standards for regular and two-step authentication. In other words, the entire tech industry now has protocol for letting you sign into accounts without a password. Get ready for everything but typing out *****.
Disparate companies have been offering password-killing solutions for years, but the lack of a common standards tended to make things more difficult than they needed to be. Now, the new FIDO specifications promise "to make authentication simpler and stronger for all". Any app or website should now be able to depend on devices like USB hardware tokens or biometric data like fingerprints in order to authenticate users. You've been able to do this with some services, like Google, for a while, but the new standards should (hopefully) blow the lid off of adoption.
It's a little unclear what this new password-free landscape will end up looking like, but FIDO's new standards will shape the terrain dramatically. There's more work to do. Apple's TouchID still needs deeper integration, for one. Bluetooth and NFC-enabled devices also aren't yet supported, however, so everything has to be plugged in. But today, we're one step closer to forgetting all of our passwords regardless. [FIDO Alliance]
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