Google is adding passkey support to Google accounts. A passkey is an implementation of the FIDO protocol for logging in without having to use a password or two-step verification.
Google’s access keys setting on Android
The feature has been added right away and can be activated in the ‘Security’ section of the Google account settings. Under ‘Signing in to Google’ you will find the option ‘Passkeys’, or ‘Access keys’. This makes it possible to log in to Google services with a fingerprint, PIN code or face scan. This feature works on “all major platforms and browsers”, said Google.
Users can create a unique passkey for each device they own. For some devices it is possible to make a backup so that the authentication key is also accessible on other devices. This applies, for example, to Apple devices that are synchronized with the same iCloud account, Google says. This makes it possible for users who lose their devices to log in to a new device via the FIDO protocol. In addition, it is possible to log in once on a new device with a passkey from another device. This only works if that other device is nearby and unlocked.
According to Google, using passkeys is more secure and convenient than passwords and two-step verification. Because the access keys are only present on the user’s device, they protect against phishing better than most 2fa methods, the company says. Passwords will still exist, in case a device is used that does not yet support passkeys. Google does not say whether it is the intention that other login methods will eventually disappear.
Google announced a year ago that it was working with Apple and Microsoft to implement passwordless authentication via FIDO. Since then, the company has already added passkeys to Chrome and Google Play.