NTT DOCOMO is expanding its support for FIDO’s password-free authentication standards with a new d ACCOUNT Passwordless Authentication feature. The feature will go live in February of 2020, and will allow NTT DOCOMO users to fully disable password logins in favor of biometric authentication on their mobile phones.
Of course, d ACCOUNT will only be available to users with a mobile handset that offers some form of biometric authentication, which is to be expected given the technological demands of such a system. NTT DOCOMO is the largest mobile network operator in Japan, and currently supports more than 90 models that satisfy those prerequisites.
While NTT DOCOMO has supported password-free FIDO authentication since 2015, d ACCOUNT offers a much higher level of biometric security. A phone with d ACCOUNT will only accept biometric logins, so an unauthorized user will not be able to access that phone even if they manage to get their hands on the owner’s password. However, the feature is optional, so users will have to take the time to set up their accounts if they want to be password-free.
NTT DOCOMO joined the FIDO Alliance Board of Directors in May of 2015. In more recent months, the company has been working to develop its 5G capabilities through an ongoing collaboration with NEC.