Tech giant Apple has announced that the latest version of its Safari web browser will be equipped with the option of allowing users to log in to certain websites with biometrics via Apple’s Face ID or Touch ID.
Safari 14’s new features, which will ship with the new iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur operating systems, are built upon the FIDO 2 standard WebAuthn component, an API for making logging into websites safer and easier by using public key cryptography and security methods like biometrics or security keys for authentication.
The WebAuthn Safari features mean that Apple users will be able to bypass the use of passwords entirely and opt for biometric authentication, something that tech experts have been promoting heavily lately, especially in light of an increase in cybercrime that has come as a result of the rise in remote work during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Though WebAuthn — and therefore Safari 14’s new features — requires support from websites to work, the fact that it now has the influence of Apple’s default browser behind it suggests that its adoption is likely going to increase.
Apple now joins Google — whose Android operating system gained FIDO2 certification last year — and Microsoft as the latest of the tech giants to support the FIDO2 standard, though it should be noted that last year’s iOS 13.3 added compliance for security keys that were certified under the same standard.