June 14, 2021

Politics & News

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Apple introduces passwordless sign ups with Face ID and Touch ID

2 min read

At its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) last year, Apple announced that it’ll allow you to sign in to websites on Safari using Face ID and Touch ID. This year, the company is taking this tech a step further by introducing passwordless sign-ups.

In a developer session titled “Move beyond passwords,” Apple unveiled a new tech called Passkeys that’ll allow you to sign up for services without any passwords.

Here’s how it’ll work: when you visit a website supporting this new tech, you’ll enter your desired username during registration, and then use Face ID or Touch ID — instead of a password — to authenticate yourself. Passkeys is coming to iPhone, iPad, and Macs later this year as a technology preview, so it’ll be off by default.

Passkeys tech is part of the iCloud keychain and it’s based on FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance’s WebAuthn protocol. Notably, Apple joined the alliance last year to support password-free authentication. You can read more about FIDO and WebAuthn here.

As Apple’s chart below indicates, this is a pretty secure method for authentication, and it prevents you from being a victim of a phishing attack. However, if you have devices beyond Apple’s ecosystem this tech might not work and you’ll have to fall back on passwords.