Death-to-passwords FIDO Alliance finds a friend at DOCOMO

Forget passwords; Japanese users can buy online with their EYEBALLS

Japanese users will be able to log in and make online purchases using iris recognition biometrics after telco giant DOCOMO begins shipping Fujitsu ARROWS phones.

The telco's 65 million users will be able to use the biometric verification on the ARROWS F-04G said to be the world's first iris snapper.

Fingerprint biometric login options are available for the Sharp AQUOS SH-03, and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.

The authentication system is being claimed as a win for the password-hating Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance of which DOCOMO this week became a member. The Alliance supplied the federated identity mechanism by which users will be able to shop.

FIDO Alliance executive director Brett McDowell says the biometric option will be big in Japan.

“DOCOMO’s adoption of FIDO specifications opens up a huge opportunity in the Japanese market for customers to benefit not only from more secure authentication, but also from a more streamlined process with the federated identity DOCOMO is offering,” McDowell says.

“This FIDO implementation, the first by a wireless carrier in partnership with our co-founding member Nok Nok Labs, helps drive our efforts in a major market, and sets the stage for other carriers around the world to follow their lead.”

FIDO guy and ex-PGP guru Phil Dunkelberger has praised the telco.

The FIDO Alliance has grown from six founding members in 2013 to some 200 this year.

Its goals are to encourage technology firms to eradicate passwords and enhance interoperability between authentication systems.

Japan's a natural market for FIDO: the nation has long used biometrics in automatic teller machines and as an authentication method for government services. ®

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