Difference between passkeys and Id first + biometrics flow

Hi all,

we recently tried out the new Passkeys authentication feature in Auth0.
There is another very similar feature in Auth0 called “Identifier first + Biometrics”, but it is separate from Passkeys in the management UI. What are the exact differences between these two authentication methods?

Kind regards,

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Hey there @benno.krauss welcome to the community!

Great question! At a high level they are 2 distinct approaches to authentication:

  • Passkeys are a form of passwordless login using cryptographic keys.
  • Identifier first + Biometrics relies on a user entering a username, email, etc. and subsequently physical traits for identity verification.

While passkeys can be used independently of biometrics, combining them enhances security, ensuring that the cryptographic keys are only accessible to the biometrically authenticated user.

This is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak, but I hope this helps to at least clarify the difference between the two!

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