Friday, December 19, 2014

FIDO May Offer Smarter People Identification

Imagine an ATM system and internet services with no passwords that you have to remember and sweat over when you get wrong. Imagine a simple biometric device that authenticates who you are and lets you get straight to the service you require. This reality took another step forward last week with a group of some 150 companies releasing version 1.0 of its open specifications for authentication on the Internet securely without the use of usernames and passwords.

The FIDO Alliance is impressive and includes the likes of Microsoft, PayPal, Google, Bank of America, Visa and MasterCard, Release of the specifications and the specification covers devices, servers and client software, browsers, browser plugins and native app subsystems.

Although biometrics are being used today to authenticate access, these are proprietary. However the new FIDO specifications are cross platform and aim to be industry open standards.

The question is how long will it take to be adopted and will it be surpassed by new technology before it hits the tipping point? Will the emergence of digital currency and bitcoins and the increasing strength in their security over traditional cash, also now accelerate, impact or compliment this emerging technology?

Today we appear to be bogged down with controls and thinking that acts as if they were built not for the 21st but the 19th century.  

What is clear is that we will be securing what we do, access and how transact stuff and services very differently in the next decade. This could impact also how we can better control stuff which we often fail to do today. This technology could present better ways to control even copyright and usage rights. Perhaps one day we will be carrying our identifier in an embedded chip and our password in the retina of our eyes.

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