At its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2022), Apple has announced that it will introduce passwordless logins to all of its devices in September. What does this mean for Apple users?
This means that instead of using passwords, you’ll be able to sign in to apps and websites using “Passcodes” with iOS 16 and macOS Ventura. Apple Credentials is based on the Web Authentication API and is end-to-end encrypted. This feature is therefore very safe. It uses public-private key authentication for identity verification.
However, this is not really new, as the company already detailed Passcodes during WWDC 2021 and soon after started testing it. When demonstrating this key security feature to the world at WWDC 2022, Darin Adler, Apple’s vice president of internet technology, described Passcodes as a “next-generation login, safer and easier to use, which aims to replace passwords permanently». Access Codes use “strong cryptographic techniques and in-device biometricsto secure accounts, Adler explained.
Apple isn’t alone in wanting to get rid of passwords, other companies are doing it too. The FIDO Alliance, a technology industry group, has also been working on eliminating passwords for almost a decade now. It seems quite long.
But significant progress has been made recently. In March, FIDO announced that it had finally found a way to store cryptographic keys. It was followed in May by Microsoft, Apple and Google, which said they offered support for FIDO standards.
So when these big tech companies release their versions of Passcodes, the system will be able to work on all devices, from Apple to Microsoft.
How does Access Codes work?
Passcodes create new digital keys by Touch ID or Face ID, which will replace your old passwords. Therefore, to create a passcode, users only need to use Touch ID or Face ID to authenticate, and that’s it.
So, when you log in to a website, access code will allow you to prove your identity by biometrics instead of typing a password. A prompt will appear on your Apple device when you sign in to a website to verify your identity.
Passcode will be synced across all iCloud-connected devices and will be stored on those devices rather than on servers.
A future without a password
So what does it mean to be passwordless? Many people have trouble using passwords: they tend to forget them, while others fall victim to hackers. Could a password-free future make things more secure?
One thing is certain: this system is a crucial step towards better online security. It eliminates the use of passwords, especially since they are guessable, which then reduces the chances of phishing attacks. Also, if they don’t exist to begin with, they can’t be stolen, can they?
In fact, there are many apps and websites today that already allow users to log in through biometrics, such as facial recognition and fingerprints. However, they require an account and a password before the user can take advantage of the biometric feature.
Whether Apple’s nail will be the last in the password coffin remains to be seen, but with such a large and dedicated user base, Apple can be given a good fighting chance in this all-important fight.
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Apple presents a passwordless future with Passcodes
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