June 20, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Safari 14 Brings Face ID, Touch ID to the Web

2 min read

Apple has made a number of big announcements over the past few days, including iOS 14, macOS Big Sur, and the move to Apple Silicon next year. But it turns out Apple is also attempting to remove passwords from our web experience by bringing Face ID and Touch ID to the latest version of the Safari browser.

As The Verge reports, Safari 14 is going to be the version of Apple’s browser shipping with both iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur. It will also be the first to offer Face ID and Touch ID authentication for websites and services that care to support it, and in so doing remove the need to remember a password, or use a password manager.

In what Apple describes as a “Web Authentication platform authenticator,” support for Face ID and Touch ID is implemented using the FIDO2 standard and WebAuthn component, which were created to allow easy authentication for online services. Apple demonstrates how it works in a developer video called “Meet Face ID and Touch ID for the web,” and it’s as simple and quick as you’d expect.

If you load a site that supports the feature on a Mac with a camera or fingerprint reader, or using your iPhone or iPad, the need for a password is gone. Just looking at your device or tapping your finger will trigger the login for Face ID without need of a password. This is also going to be much less frustrating for websites that automatically log you out after a few minutes of inactivity.

Of course, the emphasis is now on developers to integrate the new authentication system for their particular website or online service. Most will due to the convenience it offers users, but more importantly the frustration it will cause those same users if they visit a website expecting it to be available and it isn’t.

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