Technology Windows 10 will use faces as passwords

Windows 10 will use faces as passwords


Windows Hello
Windows Hello

(AA) – Microsoft on Tuesday announced Windows Hello, a biometric system that will allow Windows 10 users to use their fingerprints, eyes and face as passwords for computers, tablets and smartphones.

With this launch, Microsoft is leading the industry in moving away from text-based passwords which have been roundly criticized due to massive security breaches in the past few years.

“Not only is Windows Hello more convenient than typing a password—it’s more secure!” wrote the company’s Operating Systems Group Vice President Joe Belfiore in a blog post. “Our system enables you to authenticate applications, enterprise content, and even certain online experiences without a password being stored on your device or in a network server at all.”

Windows Hello will store biometric information such as fingerprints, only locally on individual devices, not in the cloud or on Microsoft servers, removing most of the potential for hackings. Microsoft claims the technology has a 1-in-100,000 false acceptance rate and that its “enterprise-grade” security means that the sensors cannot be fooled by a user’s photograph.

Microsoft also revealed information about a project that has been code-named “Passport.” Essentially, Microsoft is providing resources to bring its biometric security to a much wider arena of the Web so it will do much more than unlock devices running on Windows.

“Instead of using a shared or shareable secret like a password, Windows 10 helps to securely authenticate to applications, websites and networks on your behalf—without sending up a password,” Belfiore continued. “Thus, there is no shared password stored on their servers for a hacker to potentially compromise.”

In a bold step forward in online security, Microsoft is essentially attempting to get rid of the password as we know it—for devices, for banking, for social media, for anything digital.

Right now, though, Windows Hello will ship with Windows 10 later this year and will require devices with specific features to work, such as a fingerprint reader or illuminated IR sensor.

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