Passwords Making Way for Biometrics and More

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Passwords are a necessary evil in today’s digital world. But if you’re like me, there comes a time when you hit a stage of password paralysis, even if you use a password manager. All that angst is destined to fall to the wayside as biometrics takes over as a way to authenticate users. Early adopters are already working with features like fingerprint, facial, or voice recognition. Selfies for example are being considered by the likes of Amazon and MasterCard.

Those kinds of identifiers make perfect sense. But there are others being cooked up in R&D labs that are a bit bizarre to say the least. Take this article for example that cites nine potential password alternatives, that includes some surprises. Beyond the more familiar ideas, there is talk of authenticating a person by your gait (transmitted by a wearable device), heartbeats, ear cavity (NEC is apparently on that one), tattoos (might as well put them to practical use), jewelry or RFID transplants. Others I’m afraid go beyond the practical, like ingestible pills that emit low power signals to your PC. Or a mat with sensors that measures pressure distribution on your backside.

Whatever the choices, everyday users will have to get used to biometrics for single or multi-factor authentication. But I’m not sure how comfortable anyone would be about the idea of using their backside for identification. At least they wouldn’t have to rely on their memory.

 

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