Passwords are a bit painful. You probably have login credentials for about a million services, and ideally, they are all different. Password managers can help, but they are often fussy. A new standard of the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) called the Web Authentication API could simplify your digital life by allowing login without a password on a wide variety of websites.

Instead of entering a password, users use the registered unlocking method of their phone, either PIN, pattern or fingerprint. A document on the W3C project is available to the public, if you want to read it in depth. It is dense In a few words, when you log in with the new standard, enter your email address or username and choose the option "Log in with your phone". Then, you will be instructed to complete the login process on your phone. The process is very similar to the two-factor authentication that (fortunately) you are already using, but without the use of a password.

The W3C explains the user experience in this way:

  • On a laptop or desktop:
    • The user navigates to example.com in a browser, sees an option to "Login with your phone".
    • The user chooses this option and receives a message from the browser, "Complete this action on your phone".
  • Next, on your phone:
    • The user sees a discrete notice or notification, "Log on to example.com."
    • The user selects this notification / notification.
    • The user shows a list of their identities example.com, for example, "Log in as Alice / Log in as Bob."
    • The user chooses an identity, asks for an authorization gesture (PIN, biometric , etc.) and provides this.
  • Now, back on the laptop:
    • The web page shows that the selected user has logged in and navigated to the login page.

The process may not seem practical for some use cases, but it would be useful to log on to a computer that is not connected. yours, as in a library or a computer lab. Engadget reports that the standard "is useful at this time" in Mozilla Firefox and that it will arrive "in the next few months" to Chrome and Microsoft Edge.