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Apple to go password-free? Here’s how ‘FIDO’ can change future of iPhones, iPads

FE Online

Apple joins FIDO Alliance - Smartphone major Apple has finally come on-board the Fast Identity Online (FIDO) wagon. Apple follows technology biggies like Microsoft, Intel, Google and Samsung to join the FIDO alliance. The alliance wants newer secure and faster login experiences, and aims to get rid of password-only logins. These quicker logins will be possible across multiple apps and websites via the upcoming WebAuthn platform, reports ZDNet. WebAuthn is the official W3C web standard.

Apple has taken this step as users often forget their usernames, passwords, experience data breaches and use insecure login credentials that they often repeat over multiple platforms. FIDO specifications aim to rectify the issues users face while creating and remembering many usernames and passwords.

FIDO was formed to introduce simpler and more robust authentication which does not rely heavily on passwords via scalable, interoperable and open mechanisms. Apple Safari, Opera, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox have incorporated the latest set of FIDO specifications. 

Companies like PayPal and Lenovo launched FIDO in 2012 to create new standards of authentication that would help reduce reliance on passwords. Its two main aims were authentication and the use of multi-factor U2F tokens for authentication. The official website of FIDO says the authentication protocol is based on the tenets of free and open standards laid down by FIDO Alliance that enables password-only logins to be substituted by fast and secure logic experiences over apps and websites. It also lists security parameters and biometrics like facial and voice recognition and fingerprint scanners as additional forms of authentication.

Apple’s move to join the FIDO Alliance is significant owing to its popularity and market share across the globe, but reports say the move was long due considering most other major technology bigwigs were already a part of the group for some time now.