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September 14, 2018

The big four U.S. carriers are joining forces to get rid of app passwords

by John_A

The big four U.S. carriers are waging a war against passwords and specifically the need for a different password for each app you use on your phone. To that end, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have joined forces to launch “Project Verify,” a new approach to password management that’s designed to make accessing apps easier while keeping your phone nice and secure.

Project Verify was first spotted by The Verge, and while it’s not available to customers just yet. we do have a few details about how it will work. It seems as though the idea is to use a number of authentication details uniquely available to carriers, to authenticate a user. Those unique details include things like phone number, IP address, SIM details, phone account type, and more.

Based on a marketing video from Project Verify, it seems as though the service will exist in the form of an app, allowing users to control and manage their passwords quickly and easily straight from their phone. That also puts the new service in direct competition with the likes of LastPass and 1Password.

There are some questions that Project Verify may have to answer. For starters, if the service uses your phone to authenticate, what happens if someone steals your phone? Presumably, phones are locked to fingerprints and PIN codes — but it’s not unheard of to figure out someone’s PIN code.

Another major use of Verify, when it does launch, is that it could serve as the second factor in two-factor authentication — which would likely be a little more secure than SMS or email-based factors, like the messaging of a verification code.

Carriers will also have to figure out how to convince users to trust them. Carriers consistently rank as some of the most hated companies in the country and trust has a big part in that.

Still, we will likely hear more about Project Verify in general, and the Project Verify app, in coming months. No specific timeline has been shared yet for the service’s release, though that will likely change soon. For an overview of the project, you can check out the new Project Verify website.

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