Google is planning to kill passwords on mobile devices and it’s working on Project Abacus, which will replace them with “trust scores”. Users will no longer need to enter passwords on their phones, but it’s not sure yet when Project Abacus will come into play, but Daniel Kaufman, head of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects research is hoping that if everything will go well, Android developers all over the world will have access to Trust API until the end of this year.
At Google I/O 2016, Daniel Kaufman has taken the time to speak about Project Abacus and company’s plans to eliminate passwords on Android mobile devices. This project was announced last year, at the same event, but since then, Google has rarely spoken about how far the team has advanced with this project.
In theory, Project Abacus will accumulate data about users, such as times and locations they use an application, their voice and face and it will develop a Trust Score, which is then used to determine if the person who uses the device is the real owner. “We have a phone, and these phones have all these sensors in them. Why couldn’t it just know who I was, so I don’t need a password? I should just be able to work,” said Kaufman.
So, the software will recognize the owner of the device based on his/her specific data points and will eliminate the need to enter passwords. But when it comes to financial applications, they will require a high Trust Score, because there’s money in the middle and nobody wants to lose it.
From June, select banks will test Trust API and hopefully, if there won’t be any problems, Android developers will get it by the end of 2016. Last year, Trust API was tested by 33 universities across 28 states.
Android Lollipop has a feature called Smart Lock which automatically unlocks the device if it’s connected to a trusted WiFi network or device, via Bluetooth. There is also the two-factor authentication, which generates a unique PIN and sends it via email or SMS message and increases the level of security, but users don’t like this method because it’s time consuming.
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