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Google is Working on ‘Trusted Vault’ – Improved Sync Passphrase for Chrome

Google is working on a new and improved version of sync passphrase. This new experimental passphrase type is called “Trusted Vault”

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What is a passphrase again?

Wheny you use Chromesync to back up your browing history, bookmarks, and passwords etc to your Google account, Google asks you to use a passphrase for additional security.

The passphrase that you select is used to encrypt the information you save using Chromesync. You can either use your Google account password or a separate phrase.

Trusted Vault

According to a few code change requests that I spotted today, Google is working on a new method to improve passphrase. The new method is called “Trusted Vault”.

I spotted these two Chrome flags first:

Enable promos for sync trusted vault passphrase: Enables promos for an experimental sync passphrase type, referred to as trusted vault.

Enable sync trusted vault passphrase with improved recovery: Enables support for an experimental sync passphrase type, referred to as trusted vault, including logic and APIs for improved account recovery flows.

Digging deeper, I found a few more code change requests related to trusted vault. Here are some additional tidbits that I could find:

You might see an option to set additional recover methods after you sign into the primary account for Chrome:

More options for recovery

A trusted vault could provide users with more options to recover their accounts if they lose the passphrase. Here is an example:

“With trusted vault passphrase type, the server may report that the user doesn’t have sufficient recovery methods in case they forget their Google password. This can lead to data loss (encrypted sync datatypes) and hence there should be promos in the browser to recommend taking action.”

You will be able to add recovery keys to help you recover contents from your Chromesync account:

Summary

I have a feeling that we are only looking at the tip of the iceberg here. What if this is not a Chrome-specific feature but for Google accounts?

What if this is connected to Chrome’s unified password manager?

Source: Chromium Gerrit.

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