History of WebAuthn

WebAuthn is an open standard that was developed as a joint effort by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It was first proposed in 2013 as a way to provide secure authentication on the web without requiring passwords.

WebAuthn officially became a W3C standard in 2019. Since then, it has been widely adopted by many major websites and services including Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. In addition, most major browser vendors have added WebAuthn support to their browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.

Standards Release

The W3C has published two versions of the WebAuthn specification as Recommendations. A third version is an active Working Draft. Given the rapid pace the standard is evolving and involvement from tech companies like Apple and Google, some proposed features from the Editor’s Draft of the Level 3 Standard, which contains the latest updates, are already available in browsers like Chrome and Safari.

The Rise of Passwordless Authentication

The development of WebAuthn was motivated by the industry’s need for a more secure and user-friendly authentication mechanism.