Sunday, June 28, 2020

Forget passwords! Safari will soon log you into websites with Face ID and Touch ID

Apple announced iOS 14 and macOS 11.0 (Big Sur) earlier this week during their annual WWDC event which completely took place online. The new software updates which are currently only available for developers were released as usual to prepare consumer applications to meet the current versions while testing and providing feedback to Apple. 

iOS 14 new Safari Update: No Passwords!
Image Credits: MacRumors.com


Though Safari web browser was not particularly mentioned during the main event, it has been identified in the beta release notes for Safari 14 that, you will soon be able to use Face ID or Touch ID to access websites—websites that will support this new feature, specifically. This new feature is based on a FIDO2 standard, web authenticator named WebAuthn by FIDO Alliance whose main aim is to provide more secure authentication methods and at the same time reduce the use of passwords. 

In-line with the aims of FIDO Alliance, FIDO2 WebAuthn also seeks to limit the use of passwords—mostly targetted by hackers through phishing and brute-attacking methods, thereby making the internet more secure since it encrypts your unique biometric data (through the Touch ID and Face ID) using a public cryptographic key. WebAuthn API will need to be integrated into websites before this can work.

FIDO2 WebAuthn for iOS 14 Safari


Apple joined the FIDO Alliance not long ago, and it is very pleasing to see these new developments within this short period. It worth noting that this is not the first spin-off from their partnership; in iOS 13.3 Apple added support for physical FIDO2-compliant security keys with the Safari web browser. 

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