A major blow has been struck in the war on passwords. The FIDO Alliance, an industry consortium dedicated to open strong authentication standards, has announced that NTT DOCOMO, a mobile network operator in Japan, has joined its board of directors. As such, DOCOMO has become the first mobile network operator to deploy FIDO’s standards, effectively allowing its 65 million customers to leave passwords in the past.
FIDO Alliance president Dustin Ingalls called it an historic day for the organization. “We enthusiastically welcome NTT DOCOMO to the FIDO Alliance board of directors and recognize their outstanding accomplishment in bringing to market another innovation – FIDO authentication – greatly improving their customer experience and end-to-end security,” he said.
According to Seiji Maruyama, senior vice president and managing director of Product Department at NTT DOCOMO has positioned the company’s joining of FIDO as in service of end-users.
“By eliminating passwords with FIDO standards, we are able to deliver a superior end-user experience that includes enhanced security features; we will also be able to introduce innovative new services and product offerings that can utilize standards-based platforms and devices,” he says. “After reviewing the different approaches to authentication available today, we settled on the FIDO standards as the right strategy for solving the current and future authentication needs of our customers. Since the FIDO technology is open standard anyone will be able to utilize, we look forward to creating the FIDO eco-system together with FIDO Alliance.”
DOCOMO has chosen Nok Nok Labs – a founding member of the Alliance – to power its first FIDO certified authentication system with the NNL S3 Authentication Suite. The end result will be an authentication ecosystem that supports the multiple biometric authentication modalities supported by DOCOMO’s handsets, which include iris recognition and fingerprint scanning.
The Japanese mobile network operator is the first in the world to offer a handset that allows users to authenticate via iris biometrics. It also offers devices from a range of manufacturers with FIDO Ready security including Samsung’s newest Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge phones, which each sport a Synaptics fingerprint sensor.
Brett McDowell, executive director of FIDO commented, “This FIDO implementation, the first by a wireless carrier in partnership with our co-founding member Nok Nok Labs, helps drive our efforts in a major market, and sets the stage for other carriers around the world to follow their lead.”