Mobile

Logging in with your phone could get more secure in 2018

The four big US carriers have begun working on a plan to improve authentication with your mobile phone.

Face recognition can help with authentication, but in some cases can be fooled with just a photo.

Face recognition can help with authentication, but in some cases can be fooled with just a photo.

Screenshot/Jacob Krol CNET

Authentication is a thorny problem. Passwords can be stolen, face recognition can be spoofed and personal identification information can be hacked. The four biggest phone network companies formed an alliance so your phone can help make it better, though.

Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T hope to release technology in 2018 that will improve authentication though data revealed by your phone use, the companies said Friday. Their effort is called the Mobile Authentication Taskforce.

"The solution will analyze data and activity patterns on a mobile network to predict, with a high degree of certainty, whether the user is who they say they are," the carriers said. "The Mobile Authentication Taskforce has significant capabilities and insights to address this issue, like network-based device authentication, geolocation and SIM card recognition."

The task force can help US customers "by helping to decrease fraud and identity theft and increase trust in online transactions," said Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer of GSMA, a global carrier consortium.