Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Tech | By Constance Martin

Google Starts Ditching Passwords in Web Logins for Android Users

Google Starts Ditching Passwords in Web Logins for Android Users

Your fingerprint or screen unlock system authenticates you on-device and then simply communicates with Google's servers with an "authentic" or "not authentic", which means Google never sees your fingerprint, password, etc. Adding to the pain is the fact that now we have got so many passwords to remember.

Using this method, you can avoid putting in a password every time you need to login to some service and escape "phishing" attacks.

Using Chrome on Android, users can test the feature on Google's password manager site, https://passwords.google.com, which contains a list of services and credentials.

Available today for Pixel devices and coming to all Android devices with a fingerprint reader and running Nougat+ in the next couple of days, you can now use your fingerprint to log into certain services when using Chrome for Android.

Google points out to those anxious about privacy, that fingerprints are never sent to Google's servers and are stored securely on the user's phone.

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Security keys on other hand can be used to set up a new device, like an Android phone, as part of a two-step verification process to ensure it's the right owner of the account accessing it. Google is using security keys as part of its Gmail Advanced Protection Program.

Throughout all of modern computing history, passwords have been the primary method of securing data.

In an effort to keep your account secure, Google will regularly ask you to confirm your password when trying to access your account on a device you've been logged into for a while.

"This new capability marks another step on our journey to making authentication safer and easier for everyone to use", Google said in a Monday blog post.

Until the features become active, users will only be able to view and edit the passwords that Google has saved for you. Google's servers do receive proof that you correctly scanned your fingerprint via a message that is disguised using cryptography.

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