Google tapping into Autofill biometric authentication for passwords, payments

Google’s recently released Android 8.0 Oreo now supports Autofill API by letting third-party password managers insert in applications users’ passwords and payment information, according to xda developers.

If this is not an option the user wants to consider, Google delivers a proprietary autofill service available on devices running at least Android 8.0, feature similar to LastPass and Dashlane. It can be accessed in Settings > System > Languages & input > Autofill service, and by connecting to the Google account it lets users automatically insert personal information, addresses, payment methods and passwords in Chrome or third-party apps.

Because there is currently no user authentication set up, it would be easy for a criminal to access personal information if the device is accessed. Oher third-party password managers deliver biometric authentication to boost security.

Google is working on providing biometric authentication to lock auto-fills through BiometricPrompt API that lets users authenticate autofill requests through fingerprints, iris scanners or face unlock hardware. The publication writes an APK teardown could help guess future features and updates, but chances are these implementations will not be included in future releases.

The team tested the functionality on a Pixel 4 and use face unlock to authenticate autofill in the Reddit app; there was an option to turn on biometric authentication for payment information and login credentials. Because it is still undergoing tests, it is uncertain if Google will roll out the feature as an update or a server-side switch, or if it is going to be released at all.

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