Lenovo, Intel, Synaptics and PayPal have announced a collaboration to bring FIDO-enabled fingerprint authentication to Lenovo computers. The new technology would allow people to use their fingerprints instead of a password to verify their identities while using online payment services such as PayPal.
The new biometric authentication system will combine Lenovo's laptops with Intel's hardware security and Synaptic's biometric fingerprint technology, including encryption technologies and anti-spoofing algorithms. It will also be based on FIDO Alliance's – an industry association that has developed identity authentication standards and assesses the security of password alternatives – security standards.
Founded in 2012 by Lenovoand PayPal among others, FIDO Alliance has been backed by numerous other major companies such as Google, Microsoft, Bank of America, American Express, Samsung and Qualcomm.
"The average user has to remember passwords for many different accounts, from PC log-in, email to online shopping," Lenovo senior vice president of its PC and smart device business group Johnson Jia said in a statement. "We wanted to help change that by freeing users from the burden of remembering complex passwords by providing a simple authentication solution."
The companies did not specify when laptops with the new fingerprinting technology for online payments would be released. However, they did mention that they would bring the new technology to its laptops beginning with the Yoga 910 convertible PC.
Biometric technology has been growing rapidly as a promising new, reliable authentication solution to strengthen digital security and has been adopted by multiple institutions across the globe, particularly in the financial and banking sectors.
Innovative biometric security solutions, such as fingerprint sensors, voice recognition, facial recognition and retinal scanning are viewed as a more reliable security options since they do not require a person to remember any information such as a password, PIN or token. Besides being easy to use, they also rely on data that make each person unique, making it much more difficult for hackers and digital thieves to fake.
The companies' announcement also comes just a day after internet giant Yahoo disclosed that a massive data breach in 2014 compromised over 500 million user accounts. The company said the sensitive user information - including names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and encrypted passwords - of about half a billion people was compromised by what it believed was a "state-sponsored actor."