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Is FIDO authentication the future of online authentication products?

2/12

Can a fingerprint sensor make a smartphone smarter?

Source:  Samsung Electronics USA

Perhaps the most well-known device using FIDO Alliance technology today is the Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE smartphone.

The consumer device maker earlier this year announced a collaboration with PayPal that will enable S5 users to log in, using only a fingerprint, to the website of any PayPal merchant.

The underlying fingerprint sensor technology that supports the partnership is provided by Nok Nok Labs, a biometric authentication vendor whose products are based on FIDO Alliance standards.

Nok Nok Labs' NNL Multifactor Client, or MFAC, built into S5 devices, manages the secure connection between the smartphone's fingerprint sensor and the Nok Nok Multifactor Authentication Server implemented by PayPal.

The result, according to the vendors, is that S5 users will be able to use biometrics to initiate the PayPal process when they make online purchases from their phones and to forgo typing in passwords or login details when they shop.

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Would you trust the security of a fingerprint sensor on a smartphone?
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Yes, I think it's likely to be much more secure than a password. Though I think the technology needs to be refined as much as possible to prevent errors (otherwise, how do you get past a faulty sensor - there's no "forgot fingerprint" reminder you could send). 
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