Passwordless logins will be standardized by Apple, Google and Microsoft. The tech giants announced a joint plan.

Apple, Google and Microsoft will implement passwordless FIDO standards in Android, Chrome, iOS, macOS, Safari, Windows and Edge. The timeline is unknown, but somewhere in the coming years, you’ll no longer be required to set or track passwords for apps, websites and devices. Instead, devices will automatically store a key when registering for a service. Access to a device means access to accounts.

Apple, Google and Microsoft work with encryption standards set by the FIDO Alliance, an industry organization. FIDO passwords are virtually impossible to steal.

The standards are already supported by some Apple, Google and Microsoft solutions. The difference is that the current login method is limited to a single device. If you want to log in without a password, you’ll have to log in with the device that was used to register for a website or app. The upcoming implementations will make it possible to log in on multiple devices after a one-time registration.

Phishing

The implementations are supposed to solve the growing problem of phishing. Email accounts are hacked by phishers every day. Subsequently, cybercriminals use trusted IP addresses to bypass spam filters with phishing mails. Victims are redirected to fake login pages and robbed of passwords. Recent SpyCloud research shows that most internet users set the same password for multiple services. A single leak has serious consequences.

“Any viable solution must be safer, easier, and faster than the passwords and legacy multi-factor authentication methods used today”, said Alex Simons, Corporate Vice President, Identity Program Management at Microsoft. “By working together as a community across platforms, we can at last achieve this vision and make significant progress toward eliminating passwords. We see a bright future for FIDO-based credentials in both consumer and enterprise scenarios and will continue to build support across Microsoft apps and services.”

“Just as we design our products to be intuitive and capable, we also design them to be private and secure”, shares Kurt Knight, Apple’s Senior Director of Platform Product Marketing. “Working with the industry to establish new, more secure sign-in methods that offer better protection and eliminate the vulnerabilities of passwords is central to our commitment to building products that offer maximum security and a transparent user experience — all with the goal of keeping users’ personal information safe.”