Google is testing password-free logins that authenticate via mobile device

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,084   +131
Staff member

Google is one of several companies exploring replacements for the common password. One method the search giant is now experimenting with is simple enough; in fact, you may already use it as part of an existing two-factor authentication procedure.

Typical passwords have a couple of inherent flaws. For starters, most people don't use complex passwords which makes it that much easier for cracking programs to figure them out. What's more, people tend to use the same password across multiple accounts. If a service gets hacked or your password otherwise gets exposed, several online accounts could easily become compromised. Two-factor authentication certainly helps but many choose not to use it as it's a "hassle."

Google's latest method removes the traditional password from the entire equation, instead relying solely on your smartphone to sign into your Google account. When enabled, you'll simply enter your e-mail address which will send a text to you phone asking if you're trying to sign on. Answer "yes" and you'll be granted access.

Google is currently testing the feature with a small group of users, a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Participants can use their regular password as a backup and if Google notices something unusual about the sign-in process, users may be asked to complete an extra step or two to verify their identity.

No word as to when (or if) Google plans to roll the feature out to all users.

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Posts: 542   +190
Guessing Google just wasn't sure they were tracking you close enough. Best have the user sign directly in each time so those nifty tracking and logging of non-personal data is completely linked with 'that other data'. Can't have revenue losses when a stolen/hacked phone sends personally targetted adverts to someone not interested or, God forbid, if the owner has it, not staring at the device and the correct window/app.

Any bets how much advertising is built into the login process?


Posts: 236   +89
Try the MACID app on your mac and iPhone. Unlock your mac with your fingerprint.

Google can research macID and then "innovate".

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
Hmmmmmm .... I hope they didn't have anything to do with those high class passwords that worked so well last year for all the Target stores ....... LOL


Posts: 534   +603
I don't care for the idea of using your smartphone every time you want to check email or use a service. If you don't have your smartphone with you, I believe you can still use a password. I don't see the need for the annoying step of having to tap my phone, after unlocking it, every time I want to check my email. Use a strong password, something that can't be cracked, like a long sentence with punctuation and numbers in it and you'll be fine. Just don't forget it as password cracking programs, like opcrack, can't crack long sentences.