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Microsoft bringing Windows Hello biometric security to Edge browser


Today at Build, Microsoft revealed that its “Windows Hello” biometric authentication solution for Windows 10 will soon work with websites.

According to a report in Windows Central, USAA Bank will be among the first companies to take advantage of this development. The USAA Bank serves US military veterans and their families with financial services. Using Microsoft Edge, USAA Banking customers will be able to log in using either fingerprints, face or retinal scans.

Microsoft’s Edge browser will be the first to support this new standard for biometric web logins, but it is expected that others should soon follow.

Last year, Microsoft introduced its “Windows Hello” biometric security system, which allows users to unlock their phone, tablet or PC by scanning their face, eyeball or fingerprints.

According to a report by Tom’s Hardware, when Microsoft announced Hello last year, it was meant to be the biometric login mechanism only for the device itself, however, Microsoft also created another login mechanism for native apps (and services at a later date) that could utilize the Hello biometrics to create a public key, which would then be recognized by apps and websites that use the Hello APIs.

At the time, Microsoft said that it 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.

According to the report by Tom’s Hardware, the FIDO working group building out the latest version of the protocol is co-chaired by Microsoft, Google, and Nok Nok Labs and if the companies can agree on a standard, this will avoid fragmentation in biometric protocols and accelerate adoption by web developers.

The new Windows Hello APIs will be included in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

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