Password management is one of the key defences — or key weaknesses — when it comes to protecting your data and identity online, and today Dashlane — the digital wallet and password manager startup — announced that it has teamed up with Google to develop another route to trying to fix that. The two have unveiled OpenYOLO — notthis YOLO, but short for “you only login once” — an open-source API project for app developers to access passwords stored in password managers, whichever one you happen to use.
OpenYOLO will first target apps built for Android, but the hope is to include other platforms over time, “universal implementation by various apps and password managers across all platforms and operating systems,” Dashlane said in a separate release. From what we understand, Google will be announcing its own involvement on its developer blog soon (but not at the time of our posting, we’ll update when we see the post).
It also noted that while Google and Dashlane are the founding contributors, it will also be working with other “leading password managers” on OpenYOLO, although it did not specify which ones.
Asked about this, a Dashlane spokesperson tells us that “The leading password managers are either already participating or have expressed strong interest: 1Password, LastPass, and Keeper, and Keepass. There will be many other partners, as the project is meant to be open, as soon as the technical documentation and code is made public.” It is for that reason that there isn’t even a dedicated web site yet for OpenYOLO, he added.
OpenYOLO speaks to a wider trend in the industry for more centralised password protection, particularly in light of the fact that so many breaches have been traced back to passwords being hacked. The move comes a day after another password manager startup, 1Password, announced a new subscription pricing tier and other upgrades to its services.
And there are others that have also tried to tackle this problem, including Google itself, which last year launched a password manager service called Smart Lock, also for signing into Android apps, and has also said that it is working to launch by the end of this year a password-free authenticator — currently named Project Abacus — that instead uses things like biometrics to identify you.
Smart Lock will integrate with OpenYOLO, Dashlane says and make it easier for apps to tap whatever password manager you use.
“OpenYolo is not meant to replace Smart Lock,” Stanojko Markovikjm Android Engineering Lead at Dashlane, said in an email to me. “Rather it complements it by providing a mechanism to query other password providers installed on the device.”