Google, PayPal, and Lenovo have all joined technology consortium, FIDO Alliance, whose mission is to use devices as security authentication. This feature would mean laptops, phones, and even Google Glass having voice, eye, or fingerprint matching capabilities in a security chip specific to each user.
The Mission of the FIDO Alliance is to change the nature of online authentication by:
- Developing technical specifications that define an open, scalable, interoperable set of mechanisms that reduce the reliance on passwords to authenticate users.
- Operating industry programs to help ensure successful worldwide adoption of the Specifications.
- Submitting mature technical Specification(s) to recognized standards development organization(s) for formal standardization.
The FIDO approach removes the incentives to steal large volumes of passwords from Twitter or Facebook and use them to find personal data of users. However, FIDO’s approach would not be foolproof to hackers – there could be ways to find weak points in the system to attack which would disable the network for a large number of users.
Earlier this year, we saw signs of how Google is interested in using this technology. The company is using USB sticks for security log-in from its employees. The device is part of a two factor authentication system: “something you know” and “something you have.”
Using two-factor authentication would mean safer browsing, but every website and app would have to use the same user specific hardware device to simplify devices. Imagine having a USB stick for every account.