Safari will soon make it easier to share phishing-resistant passkeys

Apple is making it slightly easier to share passkeys with a new Safari feature shipping in macOS Sonoma and iOS 17.

Security didn’t get much of a mention during Apple’s WWDC keynote on Monday, but the company did announce a new Family Sharing feature in Safari that will allow users to share passkeys with friends and family. Apple first introduced passkeys — its digital replacement for the notorious insecure text-based passwords — at last year’s WWDC.

In the latest version of Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems, users will be able to share passkeys with another person, or a group. These will be shared via Keychain, Apple’s password manager that stores passwords and account information, which is end-to-end encrypted, preventing anyone else — including Apple — from accessing passkey data.

Users will also be able to edit shared passkeys via a new “Family Passwords” tab in the Settings app.

Here’s what Apple said about the feature in its press release: “For easier and more secure password and passkeys sharing, users can share passwords with a group of trusted contacts. Everyone in the group can add and edit passwords to keep them up to date. Since sharing is through iCloud Keychain, it’s end-to-end encrypted.”

Passkeys could be shared before now, but much less securely. In iOS 16 and macOS Catalina, users could share passkeys, along with passwords for websites and apps, via AirDrop — which also got a big update today.

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