Google is expanding passkeys to its Advanced Protection Program as US election nears

Google account login page on an Android phone
Google Account Android Hero (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is rolling out passkeys to its Advanced Protection Program.
  • The news was unveiled during the World Password Day celebration, marking a year since passkeys were introduced across Google's services.
  • Google is also collaborating with various industry players to extend cross-account protection, sharing security notifications across platforms to enhance overall user security.

Google announced today that it's bringing passkeys to its Advanced Protection Program, which aims to keep high-risk users safe, just in time for the upcoming US elections and amid growing cyber threats.

The announcement was made during the World Password Day commemoration, a year after Google rolled out passkeys as a password alternative across its services. It's part of the company's broader effort to replace passwords with passkeys, which require only biometric data to unlock your device.

Google's Advanced Protection Program aims to shield certain users who face the biggest risks of getting targeted by cyber attacks, including campaign workers, candidates, journalists, and human rights activists, among others.

In the past, signing up for the program meant you had to hook up hardware security keys as a second factor to prove it's really you logging into your account. Today's announcement means that soon, you'll have the choice to sign up using any passkey alongside your hardware security keys.

You'll even get to decide whether to use just your passkeys or pair them with a password.

Google has also shared a few stats alongside this expansion. As per the company, passkeys have been used over 1 billion times across over 400 million Google accounts. In just the last year, big names like Amazon, 1Password, Dashlane, Docusign, Kayak, Mercari, and Shopify have jumped on the passkey train.

On top of all that, Google is teaming up with even more players in the industry to boost cross-account protection, ensuring billions of users stay safe wherever they roam online.

With this initiative, Google "shares security notifications" about any sketchy activities on your Google account with other apps and services you use, even if they're not from Google. This way, those apps and services can beef up security using Google's intel to keep all your accounts under lock and key.

According to the search giant, this is super important because cybercriminals usually start with one door to try to access the rest of your precious data.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.