What you need to know
- Google now allows you to log into your account using your phone’s fingerprint sensor.
- It’s now live on Pixel devices and rolling out to all phones with Android 7.0+.
- The feature can be demoed right now on the Google Passwords website.
In an effort to keep your account secure, Google will regularly ask you to confirm your password when trying to access your account on a device you’ve been logged into for a while. Entering your password takes just a few seconds, but Google’s now aiming to speed up the process by allowing you to authenticate your account using your phone’s fingerprint sensor.
This new feature was announced on the Google Security Blog on August 12, with Google explaining the technical aspects as follows:
These enhancements are built using the FIDO2 standards, W3C WebAuthn and FIDO CTAP, and are designed to provide simpler and more secure authentication experiences. They are a result of years of collaboration between Google and many other organizations in the FIDO Alliance and the W3C.
As demonstrated in the GIF, using your fingerprint to access your account information is as easy as selecting the “use your lock screen” option and then scanning your fingerprint when the prompt appears on your screen.
In regards to the privacy of everything, Google notes that:
Your fingerprint is never sent to Google’s servers – it is securely stored on your device, and only a cryptographic proof that you’ve correctly scanned it is sent to Google’s servers. This is a fundamental part of the FIDO2 design.
If you want to try this out for yourself, the feature is rolling out to Pixel devices right now and will be made available to all Android phones running 7.0 Nougat or later “over the next few days.”
For those of you eager to try this out right now, it’s first available on the Google Passwords website and should be expanding to other Google websites soon.