Facebook has become the latest tech giant to join the FIDO Alliance Board of Directors.
The company’s support for FIDO and its standards is not altogether new. Near the start of last year, Facebook enabled support for FIDO-compliant two-factor authentication via security keys such as the USB keys offered by Yubico. The small pieces of hardware are designed to pair with a given device, generally via USB port, to offer a physical authentication factor in the form of something an end user has in her possession, offering a far greater level of security than that provided by password and username combinations. But with Facebook and its peers facing more intense scrutiny than ever with respect to the handling of user data, the company is evidently seeking to expand its work with FIDO by joining the consortium’s board.
In a statement announcing Facebook’s board membership with FIDO, software engineer Brad Hill decried the “unnecessary problems” caused by reliance on password-based security, and said that Facebook is “proud to join the FIDO Alliance Board and help them in their goal to make simple, strong authentication more broadly available through web browsers and on mobile and PC platforms.”
For FIDO’s part, the organization’s Executive Director, Brett McDowell, noted that Facebook is “one of the most used web and mobile services in the world,” and said that as such the company “will help the FIDO Alliance take another step closer in achieving its mission of enabling truly innovative authentication experiences that delight users, while also solving the security problems that plague passwords and one-time-passcodes today.”
Facebook isn’t the only tech giant to have embraced FIDO Alliance authentication standards of course, with others including Dropbox, Samsung, and Google, the latter of which is working to integrate support for the new FIDO2 standard into its Chrome web browser. That support, like that of Facebook, will help FIDO standards to reach a huge swath of internet users, broadly raising the level of digital security around the world.