Google brings fingerprint authentication to Google websites on Android

Logging into some Google services on Android is now as easy as unlocking your phone

By entering the screen unlock code or using the fingerprint sensor. As reported by The Verge, the search giant has begun to let Android version 7 (and up) users verify their identity on some Google services (via Chrome) using non-password authentication methods. Fingerprints will only be stored securely on user's phones and will never be sent to Google servers. Google says that it plans to bring the alternate verification feature to more services in the future - the functionality already has a dedicated Help page, which backs that claim up.

Your fingerprint (PIN number, pattern or password) is really just tied to a unique private key also stored on your device, which performs the account unlocking process. Current Android phones with face unlock won't count as a secure unlock method for the purposes of Google's new login feature.

So what is the advantage for Android users? It essentially replaces traditional passwords for more secure and convenient alternatives, including fingerprint scans and facial recognition. If you use Google Passwords and own a Pixel device, the feature should work for you right now, so give it a try!


"This new capability marks another step on our journey to making authentication safer and easier for everyone to use", Google said in a Monday blog post. Passwords have all kinds of vulnerabilities, even before you consider the fact that a lot of people reuse them across multiple sites.

Google says users shouldn't be anxious about their fingerprints being sent to its servers because the fingerprint is actually registered and stored on the device. Although Android got support for FIDO2 earlier this year, Google is now allowing some of its services to take advantage of the protocol's password-less authentication, starting today with Pixel devices, and rolling out over the next few days more widely to other devices running Android 7 Nougat and later.

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