As some of you know I am involved with biometrics at work. And it’s possible that some of you put two and two together when you saw my “Quote of the day” yesterday. One of the proposals I submitted for possible funding yesterday was to further develop a means of eliminating the need for passwords in computer security. It’s possible that the computer would, in essence, “just know” you when you sat down and started using the computer. And it could transmit your identity to other computers/websites that you interacted without the need for passwords. Kind of cool in some ways, huh? It’s possible that it would make it much harder for someone to get access to your bank account. It would reduce the ability of “bad guys“ being able to trick someone into giving up their password or mother’s maiden name, etc and making off with their life’s savings. Websites could be automagically restricted such that your children couldn’t access “adult“ sites even if they got a password from a friend or discovered or guessed yours. “Transparent security“ could be very cool in some ways.
Among the downsides is that in a totalitarian society it would make it much tougher to deny your involvement in the freedom movement. Another is that if the system were broken it would be harder to prove it wasn’t you that accessed that kiddy porn site.
From a technological standpoint I’m really excited about the prospect of providing a solution to this problem. The question is; Can it be made compatible with a free society and the individual fighting for freedom in a totalitarian society?