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Android Apps May No Longer Require Passwords
Android Apps May No Longer Require Passwords
Time icon24 June 2016, 9:00 am

This June, Google's Project Abacus, which was launched at a conference last year, is expected to see real-world tests. Last week, Dan Kaufman, Google's director of Advanced Technology and Projects group, announced that several major financial organisations are involved in the trial, and will start testing a Trust Application Programme Interface (API) that offers an alternative to passwords, using machine intelligence for user authentication purposes. The outcome of the forthcoming test could mean that the Trust API will become widely available by this December. 

Face Recognition
Kaufman recently explained that smartphones have the capability to recognise the user without requiring passwords with all their limitations. He didn't divulge the exact alternative offered by Project Abacus. However, Project Abacus is the brainchild of Deepak Chandra, who was Google's head of mobile authentication until very recently. Along with other academic researchers, Chandra published a study in March describing how smartphone front-facing cameras can be used to provide partial face recognition. 

Growing Concerns that Passwords are No Longer Fit for Purpose
Experts from large financial institutions are becoming increasing convinced that passwords have too many security shortcomings. Many companies, as well as Google, are beginning to explore the use of algorithms as a way of verifying identities via behavioural analysis. As mobile phones are increasingly used for a wide range of services, there is growing concern about the levels of information stored on the devices, especially after recent hacking scandals. Last week, Google also introduced the Safe Browsing API Version 4, which offers increased protection to users from malware and phishing to internet-connected devices.