Google’s ATAP Wants To Eliminate Passwords For Good

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ATAP, Google’s advanced research unit, showed a new project at the company’s I/O developer conference today that aims to replace mobile passwords with a new system that looks at your typing patterns and other signals as you go through the day.

The idea here is to move the burden of PINs and passwords from the user to the device, which generates a continuous trust score as you go through the day to ensure that you’re indeed the person who is using it.

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ATAP chief Regina Dugan today explained that the team looked at the existing research on this subject, but none of the academic institutions had been able to create a system that was even as secure as a four-digit PIN.

To improve this, Google partnered with numerous universities and invited 25 experts from 16 institutions to Google to participate in an intensive 90-day research sprint. The team took data from 1,500 donors and got to the point where the new system is now 10x more secure than fingerprint systems.

 

If that’s true, then that’s a major achievement, indeed, and could soon replace existing security mechanisms. You’ll probably still want to use two-factor authentication when you log in to your bank’s mobile apps, though. All it would take to enable this is a software update, so ATAP hopes that it will be able to bring this system to millions of Android phones in the future.

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