Amazon Rolls Out Passkeys as Big Tech Bids Farewell to Passwords

Amazon Rolls Out Passkeys as Big Tech Bids Farewell to Passwords

You can now use passkeys to sign into your Amazon account, the company announced on Monday. Amazon is following suit from other big tech players who are moving away from passwords and towards biometrics, such as your fingerprint or face, as well as pins to secure your digital identity.

“While passwords will still be around in the foreseeable future, this is an exciting step in the right direction,” said Amazon’s Senior VP of Ecommerce Dave Treadwell. “We are thrilled to be an early adopter of this new authentication method, helping to realize our vision for a more secure, passwordless internet.”

Passkeys are more secure than traditional passwords because they require a user’s actual device, not just your password, to break in. They’re highly effective at reducing phishing scams, and Amazon’s research says users prefer them to lengthy passwords.

Amazon’s passkeys will be just like the ones you use to unlock your device. For now, you have to manually set up passkeys in the app’s Login & Security settings, and passwords are still the default. The e-commerce giant is a step behind Google, which just announced passkeys will now be the default for personal Google accounts.

However, Amazon is not new to the biometric authentication game. This summer, the company rolled out its palm-reading payment system at all Whole Foods locations, allowing customers to buy groceries with nothing but their palm print.

Everyone is jumping in on passkeys. TikTok, Nintendo, and Paypal are just some of the companies moving away from traditional passwords in recent months. Many see passwords as a thing of the past and using biometrics as a way to usher in a more seamless, secure future.

The move to passkeys raises concerns about spreading biometric data far and wide. A fingerprint is significantly more personal than your mother’s maiden name and could cause much more damage in the wrong hands. 23andMe customers were recently victims of an ongoing biometric data hack. Ironically, the company blamed the hack on bad user passwords.

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