Google Plays Up Android P's BiometricPrompt API

Google is promoting the fact that beginning in Android P, developers have access to a BiometricPrompt API that allows them to more readily integrate biometric Authentication into their apps.

According to Google, biometic authentication is increasingly popular because it's faster than typing a password, more convenient that carrying a security key, and isn't vulnerable to shoulder surfing.

The BiometricPrompt API only exposes strong biometric modalities, which are those that have a Spoof Accept Rate (SAR) and Imposter Accept Rate (IAR) of 7% or lower. The SAR and IAR metrics were developed by Google and measure how easily an attacker can bypass a biometric authentication scheme.

Google says that "the [BiometricPrompt] API is intended to be easy to use, allowing the Platform to select an appropriate biometric to authenticate with instead of forcing app developers to implement this logic themselves." While the API itself is only available directly to developers in Android P, Google is offering a support Library that for devices running Android O and earlier so that developers can take advantage of the biometic authentication functionality it provides in the large number of earlier devices that exist.

Be sure to read the next Authentication article: Ping Identity Announces Public Preview of PingOne for Customers