Your voicemail. Your email. Your smartphone. Maybe you’ve got a different one for each — which means you’re bound to slip up, reports NPR: “Or maybe you use the same one for everything — a security no-no. The number of sites and services that demand a password or PIN seems to have grown exponentially. And keeping track of the ones you’ve got? Forget about it.
“Well, Silicon Valley titans are getting tired of them, too. At the Tech Crunch Disrupt conference in September, Google’s top security executive, Heather Adkins, declared that passwords are dead. And that’s straight from a founding member of the security team at Google, home to 425 million email accounts. Adkins says startups tying their future to passwords might as well give up now, given how much work it takes to keep customers’ passwords secure.
“But if passwords are a thing of the past, what will replace them? Wall Street is betting on biometrics. Now that Apple is adding a fingerprint sensor to its newest iPhone, companies that make similar technology have seen their share prices jump. And industry analysts say the market for fingerprint scanners could top $10 billion in the next five years. Other biometrics companies are looking more competitive as well. Take one of Apple’s partners, Nuance Communications, a voice recognition company. You’ve probably heard their technology if you’ve called an airline or reserved a hotel room — particularly if you’ve heard, “Your call may be monitored or recorded for quality purposes.” Nuance Communications is gathering data to improve its voice-recognition technology. The goal is to eventually do away with the whole username and passcode business altogether, says Robert Weideman, one of the company’s executive vice presidents. Continue reading “The body as password”