Google-Backed FIDO Alliance Publishes Standards to Eliminate Passwords

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Google-Backed FIDO Alliance Publishes Standards to Eliminate Passwords
With the ever-growing need for strong passwords for a secure account, the new online security standards from Google-backed FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance arrive like a breath of fresh air.

Published on Wednesday, the final 1.0 draft of online security standards by the FIDO Alliance will "make authentication simpler and stronger for all." FIDO Alliance is an open industry consortium with the list of members currently implemented its standards, e.g like Nok Nok Labs, Synaptics, Alibaba, PayPal, Samsung, Google, Yubico and PlugUp.

Google's USB key authentication for Chrome and Gmail was one of the previous version implementation of FIDO standards. Also, Samsung and PayPal were both early FIDO members, and their FIDO standard implementation had resulted in the Samsung's fingerprint reader allowing direct login to the native PayPal app.

With FIDO 1.0 specifications, a software company called Nok Nok "has built a program adapting Apple's now-open API to the FIDO protocols," notes The Verge.

Nok Nok, which reportedly has over 15 product trials in the works for various applications, suggests that developers will be able to build a chat app that only opens with the user's fingerprint without worrying about writing a new program for every different phone.

Also if a phone doesn't have a fingerprint reader, developers could use Nok Nok's program for voice authentication, just like the Google's USB security key.

"Now people have something they can code to," said Phil Dunkelberger, Nok Nok's CEO. "This is the start line, not the finish line."

As yet, FIDO's core 1.0 specification doesn't support Near Field Communications (NFC) and Bluetooth for ranged FIDO capabilities, but should be possible soon as FIDO Alliance is nearing completion on these.

"Our members' determination, cooperation and tireless perseverance have delivered this landmark accomplishment in less than two years from announcing the FIDO Alliance and its goal to develop industry open standards for interoperable, privacyy respecting strong authentication," said Brett McDowell, Executive Director of the FIDO Alliance.
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