Skip to main content

Google joins FIDO Alliance in fight against password dependency

Google has taken a formal step in the fight against password dependency by joining the FIDO Alliance.

Fast Identity Online (FIDO) is aimed at developing alternative methods to verify users' identify when logging into websites and other services.

According to the group, the current password-based Internet authentication system is plagued by reuse, malware, and phishing, and needs to be updated. So, with the help of companies like Lenovo, PayPal, and now Google, FIDO wants to replace passcodes with more secure methods.

So far, they have tried biometrics (fingerprint scanners, voice/facial recognition), USB security tokens, NFC, and one-time-only passwords.

"Joining the FIDO Alliance is a great way to increase industry momentum around open standards for strong authentication," Sam Srinivas, product management director for information security at Google, said in a statement.

"We look forward to continuing our current development work on strong, universal second-factor tokens as part of a new FIDO Alliance working group," added Srinivas, who is also a FIDO Alliance board member.

The FIDO Alliance debuted in February, garnering early representation in Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, and Sweden. The industry consortium is also supported by Lenovo, Nok Nok Labs, PayPal, Validity, and now Google, NXP, and CrucialTec.

"We are very pleased to count these outstanding global leaders among the ranks of the FIDO Alliance," Michael Barrett, FIDO president and PayPal Chief Information Security Officer, said in a statement.

In January, Google began investigating alternatives to the password, like a USB-based card that signs users into their account when inserted into a device.