Meta-owned WhatsApp has announced plans to roll out a password-less passkey feature for Android users. This initiative is designed to bolster security and convenience by eliminating the requirement for conventional two-factor SMS authentication, which can be both insecure and inconvenient.

In an announcement made on X (formerly Twitter), the company mentioned, “Android users can easily and securely log back in with passkeys. Only your face, fingerprint, or pin unlocks your WhatsApp account.”

Although passkeys underwent initial testing within WhatsApp’s beta channel, they are now poised for release to the general user base. Nevertheless, there is currently no information available regarding the inclusion of WhatsApp passkeys for iPhone users.

The company has disclosed that Android support for passkeys will be introduced gradually over the upcoming weeks and months. Passkeys provide an alternative to traditional passwords by utilizing the authentication methods present on your device.

Tech giants like Apple and Google have already integrated passkey support for their respective user bases. In a recent development, Google actively encouraged its users to transition from traditional passwords to passkeys as a means of bolstering security.

What are Passkeys?

Those who do not know, a relatively recent technological innovation, passkeys eliminate the necessity of depending on traditional username and password combinations, such as the two-factor authentication method. As per WhatsApp’s announcement, Passkeys streamline the process for users, requiring only their face, fingerprint, or PIN to unlock and gain access to their WhatsApp accounts.

Usernames and passwords are susceptible to phishing attacks. In addition, Passkeys necessitate the physical presence of the individual to log into their messaging app account, thus increasing the difficulty for potential ‘bad actors’ attempting to compromise accounts.

According to The Verge, the company had been testing this capability in its beta channel.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, WhatsApp emphasized that Passkeys will enhance the ease and security of the login process. The Meta-owned service highlighted this ‘additional layer of security’ will be gradually introduced over the upcoming weeks and months. Notably, there was no information provided about the potential inclusion of this feature for iOS-powered devices.


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Updated: 18 Oct 2023, 01:32 PM IST

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