In early 2023, 1Password admin will get a passwordless login feature called “Passkeys”. It’s an interesting concept that could increase user security and convenience, and customers can try a live demo on the 1Password website.
While passwordless login may seem like a futuristic idea, it already exists through the FIDO security standard (most commonly used in hardware security keys). Major players like Microsoft, Apple and Google are working with the FIDO alliance to advance this technology, which relies on a system of encrypted keys and authentication processes to verify a user’s identity.
This is what the future will be like without a password; Instead of typing, memorizing, or saving passwords, your devices (PCs, phones, etc.) will generate strong passwords for every app or website. These secure keys will not work until your device verifies your identity through a biometric scan (such as a fingerprint scan) or a hardware key. So even if some guy manages to steal your encrypted login credentials (or even your laptop), they can’t access any of your data.
Now, I don’t really trust the demos, and I expect 1Password’s implementation of Passkeys to change over time. But the Passkeys demo currently available to 1Password subscribers is pretty impressive. Create a username for a fake service and an access key is automatically generated. From there, logging in requires zero effort.
This is where we ask why 1Password pursues this technology. Companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are already working on password-free login and will likely offer the service for free. Why pay for the 1Password version?
Well here’s the thing; we need a passwordless login to be “platform independent”. Strong access keys shouldn’t be locked to your iCloud account, for example, as this would prevent you from switching to Android or Windows.
The FIDO alliance is strongly opposed to lock-in and 1Password (a member of the alliance) hopes to encourage big business in the right direction. But at the moment, 1Password is one of the few services that guarantees to offer cross-platform support for passwordless login. (After all, cross-platform support is the reason password managers exist.)
Source: 1 password