Google is now giving websites the option to remove the need for password logins in the latest desktop version of its web browser, Chrome 67.
Websites that enable the new standard will let you register and sign-in using any biometric information that your phone supports. An iPhone 7 owner, for example, would be able to use their fingerprint to verify that they’re the ones signing in to a site from their desktop. Additional options will include facial recognition (e.g. Face ID), retina scanner, or even a photo.
Chrome users won’t be able to access this feature immediately after it rolls out in the coming days or weeks. Instead, the update means that Google has opened up the necessary code to website developers, so they can integrate the feature into their own sites.
The passwordless option will be the default setting on sites that enable it, but you’ll have the option to turn it off if you prefer typing your credentials in.
By enabling it, websites will not only be relieving you of the task of recalling and typing in passwords, but will also make it more convenient for you to create unique passwords. Using the same password more than once — while easier than remembering multiple — is a known security hazard, and is even becoming increasingly difficult with all of the different password requirements.
Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla had been pushing for the Web Authentication standards that made this update possible for years, with the hopes of increasing security. They committed to using them on their own browsers even before the standards were released in April, and Chrome is the last of the three companies’ products to do so.
Apple has made no such commitment for Safari, but it might be on its way: The browser is labeled as “In development” in Chrome’s status update and a number of Apple staff members are in the correlated working group.
By Prachi Bhardwaj