1Password, one of the most famous password managers, will soon do away with passwords altogether, choosing to handle access keys instead.
Passkeys, advertised as the successor to passwords, store credentials securely on devices, allowing you to instantly log into your accounts without having to remember any codes or phrases.
1Password says users will soon be able to generate, manage, and use passkeys on their platform, and by summer 2023, no master password will be needed to access their vault as it can be accessed with a passkey as well.
No more memorizing
1Password initially announced support for passkeys in November 2022, stating that early 2023 is likely for them to arrive on its platform.
Attached video (opens in a new tab)CPO Steve Won commented on Apple’s attempt to monopolize access keys, becoming one of the first major tech companies to support the technology.
in recent blog post (opens in a new tab) about access keys, Won mentioned that unlocking 1Password without a master password is already possible with biometrics such as fingerprint or facial recognition.
However, as Won puts it, biometrics “do not actually replace a password, they only mask it. That’s why 1Password asks you to enter your password periodically to make sure you remember it.”
Access keys also use biometrics to authenticate your identity, but the password layer is completely eliminated.
Access keys use two keys – a public key and a private key. These are heavily encrypted sets of random codes unique to each service you have. The public key is stored in the cloud while the private key is only stored on your device, making it phishing-proof. These two keys are combined after biometric authentication and account access.
Many digital services currently support the use of access keys (opens in a new tab) for users to access their accounts such as PayPal and eBay, and many more are expected to join their ranks in the future.
Most big tech seems to be moving towards ditching passwords as well, with Apple, Google, and Microsoft, and many others supporting passkeys as well. They are also board members at the level FIDO Alliance (opens in a new tab)the organization behind the definition of access key technology standards.