Apple has joined Fast Identity Online (FIDO) Alliance, an open industry association that promotes passwordless authentication. FIDO already has some big names such as Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Amazon, ARM, and Intel as members.
Apple joining the alliance means we can expect more support for password-free authentication in iOS and macOS devices. The company already supports FaceID on iPhones, and TouchID on select Mac devices for logging into the device and apps.
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The alliance promotes a number of protocols that help websites, apps, and devices with password-free authentication. Its FIDO2 standards are suited to verify credentials for web and mobile. Last year, Google rolled out support for passwordless login for Chrome for Android using biometric authentication; the supporting tech was based on FIDO2.
And its Fido Universal Second Factor (FIDO U2F) standard provides a framework for NFC or specialed USB-based physical authentication keys such as Google’s Titan Key. For iOS and Mac users, YubiKey provides a solution with lightning and USB-C dual connector. Last year, Apple rolled out support for FIDO2-based physical security keys for Safari 13 and iOS 13.3.
Currently, Apple allows folks using Apple Watch to log in to the Mac. We can expect that by joining the alliance, the company will help in developing or supporting more password-less standards in the future.