Passwords are so Passe

As the Director of our user authentication and customer support platforms at CNET Networks I feel first hand the challenge/frustrations end-users have with authentication via email address or username and passwords. Most users have many passwords, each required to gain access to online sites or services. As a result, users concerned with password recall set themselves up for security breaches by :

  1. Jotting down their passwords on a piece of paper or a sticky note
  2. Use very simple, easily compromised, passwords.
  3. Reuse old passwords as often as possible

In short….there are no good solutions for end-users as long as we are dependent on their short-term memory.

This is why I am following, with interest, the emergence of biometric user authentication. I also oversee our ecommerce platform and work closely with IPAY, division of Pay by Touch, as our merchant bank gateway. PBT has a number of patents in the biometrics space and they are conveniently within in walking distance. They recently hired a former IBM exec as their new CEO and I have to believe integration with your computer hardware, as mentioned in the SF Gate article, is fast approaching. As far as I’m concerned….it can’t happen fast enough.

It’s a safe bet adoption will be slow…probably even slower then asking users to provide their credit card online. I’m confident that, as we have seen with the adoption of online commerce, the ease of use will eventually outweigh the reluctance to participate.


2 Responses to “Passwords are so Passe”

  1. 1 Julie
    July 12, 2005 at 11:27 am

    Yes, but have you tried hints?

  2. 2 brentbaker
    July 12, 2005 at 1:17 pm


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