Apple may achieve "the next big thing" in security that Microsoft is still struggling with - a password-less web

Microsoft with its Windows Hello technology declared the end of passwords in recent months. This means the users will be able to sign into their accounts without having to remember a random transcript of characters.

This was followed up to the point that Windows Hello became a certified FIDO2 compliant. This certification means that any devices (with the necessary hardware components) running Windows 10 would be able to use Windows Hello PINs or biometrics to access their networks, apps, devices, and online services with Certified FIDO security. However, the only noteworthy use of Windows Hello is to reveal the user’s passwords stored in the Chrome browser.

The Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance is an association of open industries that was launched in February of 2013. The mission of the organization is to promote and develop standards for authentication that help to reduce the world’s over-dependence on passwords. A large range of authentication technologies is supported by FIDO. This includes biometrics (iris and fingerprint scanners), facial and voice recognition, existing communications and solutions standards like USB security tokens, smart cards, Near Field Communication (NFC), remembering multiple usernames and passwords.

Apple joined the FIDO2 (2-factor authentication) alliance in February this year and recently announced support for FIDO2 via FaceID and TouchID in their Safari browser on Apple devices. Apple is a tech giant that has enough power and influence to move the web developers around the world to make necessary changes as it has frequently demonstrated in the past, which is very unlike Microsoft.

Apple’s acceptance could advance the biometrics movement overall. This is because Apple can make complicated technologies user-friendly and can take on educating the users about how they work. An example of this can be traced back to the introduction of the first iPhone where the development of the touch-screen was a breakthrough for consumer products. Apple also demonstrated how much easier and faster it was to operate the touch-screen as compared to the conventional way of communicating with the other mobile devices, that used physical navigating buttons and a number pad. This accelerated the growth of the market in accepting touch-screens and now it's pretty much a set standard for modern smartphones. So similar improvement can be expected in the development of the biometric movement as well.

Apple also has a large community of developers who get excited to develop, improve, and launch Apple’s new technologies to the public. With this, it can be expected that many websites will redesign their systems so they can accommodate iPhone browsers, and hopefully, the owners of those sites will not keep non-Safari users from enjoying the end of passwords.



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