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Google to offer Android login based on behavioral biometrics by end of year


Google will begin trialing “several large financial institutions” next month in preparation for the upcoming launch of Project Abacus, which aims to make Android apps password free by the end of the year, according to a report by International Business Times.

Unlike other two-factor authentication login methods which involve the use of a code or PIN, Google’s Trust Score will be completely password free. Instead, it determines the user’s identity based entirely on their behaviour.

Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) division initially previewed the project — which uses a behavioral biometrics-based authorization system to detect the nuances of a user’s voice, typing patterns, facial features, and location — at the Google IO developer conference last May.

The company said this use of behavioral biometrics would make it more efficient to log into an account instead of typing in passwords, which people tend to easily forget.

“Assuming it goes well, this should go out to every Android developer by the end of the year,” said Dan Kaufman, head of Google Advanced Technologies Projects (Atap).

The Project Abacus system analyzes patterns of a user’s smartphone actions to ultimately calculate the probability, or “Trust Score”, of the authenticity of their identity.

Google intends to develop and roll out a “Trust Score API” to developers by the end of the year, which the company will then test to ensure that the login system is effective and secure.

Project Abacus will continuously collect its users’ data to power its Trust Score. Google has already tested its Project Abacus system in 33 universities across 28 US states and will soon begin trials with many major financial institutions.

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