From Passkeys To IP Addresses, Big Tech Looks To Protect Consumers

Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other technology companies want users to ditch passwords for passkeys in what the companies call a more secure login than passwords on phones or laptops.

This digital lock, an encrypted piece of software, uses a cryptographic found in the password manager on the device. The key only lives on the device, so the companies say it is safer than using a password.

Amazon is rolling out passkey support on browsers and mobile shopping apps, offering customers another way to sign in to their accounts. Customers can now set up passkeys in their Amazon settings, allowing them to easily use the same face, fingerprint, or PIN used to unlock their device.

"This is about giving customers ease-of-use and security simultaneously in their Amazon experience," Dave Treadwell, senior vice president of ecommerce at Amazon, wrote in a blog post Monday. "While passwords will still be around in the foreseeable future, this is an exciting step in the right direction."



Amazon Passkey also will roll out on the iOS Amazon Shopping app, with support coming soon on the Android Amazon Shopping app.

Google earlier this year rolled out support for passkeys, offering them as the default option across personal Google Accounts. Now the company is encouraging the use of passkeys for YouTube, Search and Maps.

Uber and eBay also have enabled passkeys, giving users the option to ditch passwords when signing in on their platforms. Compatibility with WhatsApp will come soon, Google said.

It’s clear that the passkey aims to keep consumer digital life safer, but something opaquer is how it could tie into other technology like masking IP addresses.  

“To use passkeys, you just use a fingerprint, face scan or pin to unlock your device, and they are 40% faster than passwords — and rely on a type of cryptography that makes them more secure,” Eben Carle, keyword contributor at Google wrote in a published post last week. “While they’re a big step forward, we know that new technologies take time to catch on — so passwords may be around for a little while.”

People will still have an option to use a password to sign in and may opt-out of passkeys by turning off “Skip password when possible.

Google is on a mission to protect consumers from all types of interference, including advertising. On Sunday, reports began to surface saying that Google is preparing to test an “IP protection” feature for Chrome browsers, similar to Apple’s. The feature for the Chrome browser aims to improve user privacy by masking IP addresses using Google-owned proxy servers, a system or router that acts as a gateway between users and the internet. That gateway typically takes an image or records the information passing through it.

Among the domains where Google intends to test this feature are on its platforms such as Gmail, DoubleClick, Google Analytics, and other ad services.

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