Why Google's New Facial Recognition Security System Won't Let Us Kiss Our Passwords Goodbye Quite Yet
Google’s new release, Chome 67, is on a mission to move us away from passwords. Laudable? Absolutely! Chrome 67 is being touted as allowing sites to easily log consumers in to their accounts by having those customers use biometric information like fingerprints and facial recognition.
Imagine being able to log in using information that's so personal to you no one else on Earth can replicate it. No need to type your password or have it changed every three months to ensure maximum security -- you are your password.
Before releasing Chrome 67, Google tested alternatives to passwords for security going back to 2016, and now it seems those years of research have paid off. The technology's results show great promise for saving millions of internet users the hassle of remembering all those passwords for different accounts.
Still, as good as Google’s audacious goal is to scrap the use of passwords for good, it may still be only a mere glimmer of hope for the future, as there is no way passwords can be totally eradicated. Here are three reasons why.
1. Users can't access the "password-less" feature in Chrome 67 immediately.
Although Chrome 67 with biometric security is available now, users don't have access to the feature just yet. The reason: The launch of Chrome 67 was more of an invitation for developers to integrate the new biometric system into their websites.
According to Business Insider's Prachi Bhardwaj, “Chrome users won’t be able to access this feature immediately after it rolls out in the coming days or weeks. Instead, the update means that Google has opened up the necessary code to website developers, so they can integrate the feature into their own sites.”
That means that Chrome users will have to wait until the password-less option is available. As they wait for this to happen, they're left with no choice but to continue to type in those passowrds.
2. Users will still be allowed to manually type in their passwords.
The password-less feature on Chrome 67 provides an option allowing users to switch from biometric log-ins back to traditional manual typed passwords. The option will be set as the default, but users can turn it off if they wish.
This means that Google is aware that there will be times when users will want to manually input their passwords. So, given that option, users will still have to retain their original passwords and keep them strong and well-guarded. Password-less security might keep hackers away, but the manual password option will ensure that they'll still lurk in the background.
3. Websites with log-ins will need time to integrate the passwordless feature.
Let’s say that Chrome 67 becomes fully operational, and assume that most major websites will allow biometric security. There will still be some sites left out. Realistically, it will take time before all websites on the internet integrate biometric security. Given those delays, passwords will remain the only means to log in.
Without a doubt, Chrome 67 is a wonderful initiative. I mean, who wouldn’t want to ditch those numerous passwords we all struggle to remember? However, until all the websites that require you to log in integrate the password-less option, the use of passwords is here to stay.
So, what should we do in the meantime?
Keep your password to yourself. According to a survey by Lastpass, 95 percent of people polled admitted to sharing as many as six passwords with other people despite their knowledge of the risks involved.
And there are risks: With password sharing you can’t entirely trust the person you’re sharing your password with. He or she might not be as careful with your password as you are. So, you're better off keeping your password to yourself.
Make smart choices with your password manager. Password managers help you keep all your passwords in one place relieving you of the burden of remembering all your passwords. However, you need to be extremely careful before you use one. Once a hacker gains access to your password manager, all your accounts will be at the hacker's disposal. You can never be too careful here.
Avoid using public access wi-fi to log in to your accounts. Don’t get tempted when you see a free wi-fi signal. Hackers are able to intercept your password through the public access too. So, if you really need to use the internet outside your home or office, be sure to use a VPN.