Google has joined the Fast IDentity Online Alliance (FIDO) in a move that will boost the group's goal of keeping all web users better protected by replacing online passwords with physical devices and other forms of authentication.
A consortium of technology companies that already counts Lenovo and PayPal within its ranks, FIDO's mission is to kill off the password -- which it highlights is the weakest link in the internet security chain -- and replace it with another open-standards system that uses voice recognition, biometrics, NFC or physical tokens that is simple to implement, simple for consumers to use and is inexpensive and scalable enough to roll out as a global solution.
Though the alliance boasts one or two ‘heavy hitters,' the addition of Google at board level will no doubt help it to get its voice heard and to push ideas forward. Google is one of the industry's biggest and most vocal supporters of multi-factor authentication and in January this year published a whitepaper on ideas for replacing the password, which included a smart ring that tells a device a user is who they claim to be, or a token such as a key that plugs directly into a computer's USB port as a means of physical ID.
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