Google still trying to kill passwords: This new auth idea sounds interesting

But we hope Rohit Paul didn’t break any NDAs

Google smartphone authentication
Credit: rp1226

Google is testing an interesting new authentication idea. In a bid to get rid of the password, la GOOG will instead pop up a prompt on your phone, to ask you if it’s really you who wants to log in.

It’s not exactly an infallible, two-factor authentication menthod (2FA). Perhaps you could call it 1½FA, or something?

Mr. Rohit Paul [pictured] is a beta tester of this new whatchamacallit. He leaked news of the closed test to the world, via Reddit.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder how they can join in.

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


What’s it all about? Here’s Rita El Khoury, with Google Appears To Be Testing A New Way To Log Into Your Account:

It's all about signing in to your Google account without having to bother with passwords and two-step authentication.

Once set up, when you try to log in to Google on any other computer or device, you just have to input your email address. ... A notification shows up on your phone. ... Approve and ta-da.

Google has confirmed it is testing this feature with a small number of users [on] both Android and iOS.


Do you want more? OK, Sarah Perez has more—Google Begins Testing Password-Free Logins :

Google [is] testing a new way to sign into your Google account.

Passwords are often the weakest parts when it comes to [security]. Many don’t use complex passwords or they reuse the same password.

Two-factor authentication...can help to increase security, but many users also find this to be a hassle as it introduces an additional step.

[With] this new password-free login option...a notification will appear on your phone. ... Approve the login by tapping “yes,” and you’re in.


How does it work? Kevin Tofel speculates—Google tests using phones to log into accounts on other devices:

I'm wondering if it's solely web-based...or uses some audio technology [like] Google uses ultrasonic sound frequencies to allow guests to pair with a Chromecast.

[Or] Bluetooth. ... I can unlock a Chromebook or Android phone simply by having a trusted Bluetooth device, such as an Android Wear watch, nearby.


Could this be a new fashion trend? Christina Bonnington hopes so—Google Is Testing Password-Free Logins:

Passwords are a pain, and two-factor authentication is even more of a pain.

If you always have your phone on you, this seems way more convenient than having to type out a long, secure, poetic password.

We have no idea if this...will end up expanding beyond this small testing group, but we hope it does.


Something like this could be a competitive differentiator. As Dave Birch notes:

Looks like Google ID has beaten Apple ID into the market.


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
View Comments
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies