A new announcement comes from the stables of Google about new ways you can access some Google services on your smartphone has just been made. Following the creation of other secure means of authentication over the years besides passwords, Google has decided to adopt new ways of verifying it’s you. One of those means of identification is your fingerprint which you use on your smartphone already. You will now be able to use the same fingerprint authentication you use to unlock your smartphone to log in to some Google services. Interestingly, you don’t have to go through any additional settings to do so.
In the wake of the recent availability of biometric authentication on the web which ‘allows the same credentials to be used by both native apps and web services’. This means once you can gain access to a service on its native app with your fingerprint you can also do so on the web version too. However, the new feature from Google can only be used by Pixel smartphone owners for now and then it’ll come to other users with Android 7 or higher in the next few days.
Additionally, this does not work with your fingerprint only, other screen lock methods like pattern and pin can also be used. However, your personal Google Account as to be already linked to your Android smartphone for this to work. In other words, you will be able to verify it’s you when logging in to your google accounts on the web by using your phone’s ‘valid’ screen unlock arrangement.
This makes it easier to log-in to you various google service on the web with your smartphone without having to crank your head about your password. The feature is based on FIDO CTAP, FIDO2, and W3C WebAuthn which are designed to make authentication easy and safer.
Also, you should know that your fingerprint is stored on your smartphone and only an encoded proof of whether the fingerprint scanned is yours or not is sent to the server. This means that your fingerprint or pattern or other means you use to unlock your smartphone is not revealed to Google in any way.