Windows 10 to feature biometric verification system, password-free identification

March 18, 2015 - 

The upcoming release of Windows 10 will feature Microsoft’s new biometric security system Hello, which will allow users to unlock their phone, tablet or PC by scanning their face, eyeball or fingerprints, according to a report by the Financial Review.

Microsoft announced details about the new Hello feature on the Windows blog, in which Microsoft corporate vice president Joe Belfiore said that the biometric system will enable you to “just show your face, or touch your finger, to new devices running Windows 10 and be immediately recognized”.

Set for release at some point near the end of the year, Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for all existing Windows 8 and Windows 7 users.

The new security system will be able to use existing fingerprint readers on PCs, but will not work with regular webcams or front-facing cameras on Windows Phone devices.

Windows 10 users will need to purchase a special infrared light camera for their device to take advantage of iris- and face-recognition capabilities.

In addition to Windows 10 not requiring passwords for login, the new operating system will not send user passwords over the Internet to log into sites or apps.

Instead, Windows 10 will have a new feature called Passport which will send out the user’s identity over the Internet without also sending a password that could be easily compromised.

Though the blog is unclear as to how Passport actually works, the Financial Review report states that it will likely be “some sort of cryptographic handshake that takes place, that uses an identity established on a device (either with Hello or some other login mechanism) to identify a user to another device or service.”

Initially, the feature will only work with sites and apps that use a Microsoft cloud backend.

However, Microsoft will eventually expand its usability so that it can work with any site or app that adheres to the Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance specification for password-free authentication.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.