Android Users Can Now Use Fingerprint Sensors to Log into Google Account

BY Mahit Huilgol

Published 13 Aug 2019

Ultrasonic fingerprint unlocking - hard to photograph as it is so fast. This was snapped about a tenth of a second after my thumb hit the screen - and we're already unlocked, powered up and into the UI...

Google asks you to authenticate account whenever you log in to a new device or restore your device. Users are required to punch in their Google password and authenticate their account on Android. Google has decided to expedite the authentication process by using the fingerprint sensor on your phone.

The new feature was announced on Google Security Blog.

These enhancements are built using the FIDO2 standards, W3C WebAuthn and FIDO CTAP, and are designed to provide simpler and more secure authentication experiences. They are a result of years of collaboration between Google and many other organizations in the FIDO Alliance and the W3C.

Starting now you can use fingerprint to authenticate Google account on your Android. The feature is similar to how you use the fingerprint sensor to unlock phones. Furthermore, Google assures that the feature is safe especially since fingerprint data is not sent to its servers. Instead, it is stored on your device and only the authentication data is encrypted and sent to Google servers. The company also notes that the authentication process follows FIDO2 framework for enhanced security.

As of now the feature is being rolled out to Pixel devices and is likely to be made available for all devices running Android Nougat and above. Google says everyone will be able to use the feature “over the next few days.” In a couple of weeks, the fingerprint authentication should be live on all of the Google Websites. It is worth noting that Android already offers fingerprint authorization for Google Play. Do you see the new feature as useful? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Google Security Blog]