Google will soon allow Android users to sign in to a few of its Chrome services using just your fingerprint, instead of typing a password. The feature is available for select users and for some Android phones, and will be rolled out to all the phones running Android 7 or later in the next few weeks.
According to a Google help page, if you’ve set up a screen lock on your Android device, you can use it to verify it’s you. Screen lock options include pattern, pin, password and fingerprint.
While users are already using fingerprint to authenticate Google Pay purchases and log-in to apps, with the new feature uses will be able to use fingerprint to sign in to one Chrome’s web services. Currently, Google allows you to view and edit the passwords that it has saved for you at passwords.google.com, but the company says it plans to add the functionality to more Google and Google Cloud services in the future.
Using fingerprint to sign in to services on web is convenient and secure way to log in. Passwords are vulnerable to hack, and most of the users use same password on multiple sites. However, by using fingerprint sensor, your credentials are stored locally on your device, thus they are protected from being intercepted and are also impossible to ‘phishing’ attacks by tricking you into visiting a fake website.
If you have a phone running Android 7 or later, then you can try the new feature by visiting passwords.google.com using the Chrome app on your phone. For the fingerprint feature, Google is using FIDO2 and the WebAuthn protocol, which is an open standard that many websites use to secure web-based logins. FIDO2 is secure than regular passwords and all Android devices running version 7.0 or later are FIDO2-certified.