Apple is introducing a new biometric system for passwords, which reportedly cannot be cracked or broken. The company will do so during WWDC 2022, which has been underway since Monday evening. With the new system, called Passkey, the iPhone maker wants to put an end to the password for good.
The company wants to use both Touch ID and Face ID for this; systems already present on your iPhone, iPad and Mac. These biometric data provide a unique, digital key. A website or app receives that key when you try to log in somewhere, so it knows it’s you.
Apple passkey: a secure system?
Passkeys cannot be leaked, stolen or phished, according to Darin Adler, VP of Internet Technologies at Apple. That’s because the digital key only works for the specific website or app. When you are faced with a fake variant, the system does not try to log in and so nothing happens.
Moreover, this data is only stored locally on your iPhone, iPad or Mac. So there is no data on external servers. Apple bases Passkeys on the Web Authentication API (WebAuthn); this standard uses public cryptographic keys. This is similar to how FIDO works.
Synced via the Keychain
It is true that the users can synchronize this personal data via the Keychain with other Apple devices. This also gives the Apple TV access to the biometric data, for example. But then the system must be and remain safe for all users.
Apple works together with, among others, Google and Microsoft, and the organization behind the aforementioned FIDO standard. That organization aims to make humanity less dependent on the large amount of passwords that we now use. Time will tell whether this will actually be the case.
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