Google looks to do away with passwords, making ‘passkeys’ the default option

By Jennifer Korn, CNN

New York CNN  —  Google is looking to make passwords obsolete by prompting users to create passkeys to unlock accounts and devices with a fingerprint, face scan or pin number.

Google said Tuesday that passkeys don’t require users to memorize passwords, are quicker to use and can offer more security. The company unveiled support for passkeys in May but announced in a blog post that users will now be prompted to use the option where passwords are usually used.

“[W]e’ll continue encouraging the industry to make the pivot to passkeys — making passwords a rarity, and eventually obsolete,” Google wrote.

Google will continue to support traditional passwords, and users can dodge passkeys altogether by disabling their account’s “skip password when possible” option.

Passkeys are now used as password alternatives for apps including YouTube, Search, Maps, Uber and eBay. WhatsApp is also adding capability, according to the blog.

The FIDO Alliance, a security consortium that counts many tech firms as members, previously developed standards for passkeys. Microsoft, Apple and Google have since been working to make passkeys a reality.

Apple rolled out its passkey option with the release of iOS 16, allowing people to use the technology across apps, including Apple Wallet, and passkey support was first rolled out on Chrome and Android devices in October 2022.

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