Google has been giving Chrome’s password manager a lot of attention lately. Although many people still choose using a specialised password manager solution, like Lastpass or Bitwarden, Chrome’s integrated solution has significantly improved recently. It just received a UI overhaul and the ability for users to add shortcuts to their home screens. If recent advancements are any indication, the password manager for Chrome on your PC may eventually support biometric authentication.
The people at Chrome Story discovered an experimental flag on the Chromium Gerrit that would enable desktop users to read, change, or copy passwords using biometric authentication, such as their fingerprints.
It already requires biometric authentication to copy or otherwise view a password in Chrome’s password manager on mobile devices; adding this feature would only bring it to the desktop version of the browser.
Granted, not every computer has a fingerprint scanner even though they are present on the vast majority of Android phones. On desktops, they are essentially non-existent unless you’re willing to buy an external USB scanner separately, but they are still seen as a luxury feature on laptops. Many Windows machines offer Windows Hello for authentication, which works with facial recognition in addition to fingerprint scanners. While we’re not claiming that the feature would support fingerprint scanners, it does not specifically reference them and instead uses the term “biometric.face recognition for copying passwords, it’s not off the table.
As you must currently input your computer’s password before launching the manager in Chrome, this improvement would primarily serve as a more streamlined authentication process. Although a final, stable release won’t be available for some time, this utility will probably appear in a forthcoming Canary build.