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Google’s ‘Project Abacus’ will kill passwords in Android this year

Rounding out its I/O 2016 developer conference, Google quietly revealed that it’s going to start killing off traditional passwords in Android – as soon as this year.

Discussing the state of Project Abacus, Daniel Kaufman, head of Google’s ATAP research unit, unveiled the firm’s new Trust API, a system that will run in the background of devices and could mean an imminent demise for Ye Olde PINs.

The API will draw on a complex range of data to assign users a ‘Trust Score’. Everything from your location and speed to typing patterns and facial recognition will feed into the score, which – when high enough – will allow you to unlock your device and log-in to applications.

Everything announced at Google I/O 2016 that matters
Different Trust Scores may be required depending on what you’re trying to access – you’ll need a higher score to log into a banking app, perhaps, but a lower one might allow you to get into WhatsApp.

“We have a phone, and these phones have all these sensors in them. Why couldn’t it just know who I was, so I don’t need a password? I should just be able to work,” Kaufman said at I/O.

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He added that banks were set to begin testing Trust API from June and that it should be available to Android developers by the end of the year, assuming all goes well.

The tech world has been predicting the death of the password for some time. Now, it might just actually happen.

Would a world without passwords be nice, or do you love keying in ‘password123’ every morning? Let us know in the comments below.

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