At its WWDC 2022 event, Apple just demonstrated how Safari in macOS Ventura will support “passkeys,” a sign-in standard that’s built with cross-platform support to enable logins that don’t use passwords at all. Apple isn’t alone in this effort either, as last month Google and Microsoft joined with Apple to announce their new step forward for a long-in-development plot to kill passwords once and for all.
By avoiding the use of passwords entirely, they should prevent users from falling victim to phishing attacks, social engineering, or bot attacks that plug in passwords snagged from databases of leaked passwords. Instead, you can use a device (like your phone or computer) as your primary authentication device, so using Face ID or Touch ID or entering the device PIN will be enough for you to log in on various services across the web.
Apple showed how the “passkeys” are backed up within the iCloud Keychain enabling syncing across Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, with end-to-end encryption in place, as well as the QR codes you’d use to pair your phone with the system. When you use them to sign in to a service, the actual keys remain on your device, which is another measure to keep them secured.
This passwordless authentication standard is established by the FIDO Alliance and promises support across different platforms. Apple, Google, and Microsoft said they expect to support the new system on their platforms within the next year, and judging by this demonstration, macOS Ventura and iOS 16 will be among the first ways to try it out.