Ross: Are Americans ready for Big Tech to eliminate passwords?

May 10, 2022, 6:35 AM
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Being Americans, we hate anything mandatory. Even things that might be for our own good.

When COVID erupted, everybody was desperate to get the good masks – but once they became mandatory, it was an assault on freedom. Before we had vaccines, we prayed for a miracle, but when the miracle became mandatory – people were ready to quit their jobs.

Well now, here comes the next test. Big Tech is eliminating passwords.

I think most of us know why – it’s because we’re in a hacking pandemic. Every time I open my browser now, I get a warning my passwords are either too simple, or they’ve been compromised, and need to be changed – otherwise a stranger could get into my Netflix account and fast forward to all the steamy scenes in Bridgerton behind my back.

The tech companies had to act.

And so last week, Apple, Google, and Microsoft announced that they have joined the FIDO alliance: FIDO stands for Fast Identity Online, and its mission is to end password hacking.

It’s the computer version of NATO.

And its secret weapon is a fast sign-on method that is 100% passwordless.

Instead, it requires a biometric signature – fingerprint, face, voice, retinal scan – whatever non-password method your device can handle. And this would be in addition to two-factor authentication, so you’d have to do it twice.

It means that to get online you’ll always need your phone, and you’ll need to maintain a consistent facial appearance or at the very least keep your fingers clean.

I’m just wondering – IS a country that rebelled against masks ready to quietly acquiesce to mandatory biometric scans… five, ten, twenty times a day?

Could we be fired for defiantly clinging to a password that doesn’t have at least one uppercase letter and one non-alphanumeric symbol? Will America break up into password and non-password states?

We will soon find out. But my advice is: keep your nose visible. And your fingers clean.

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Ross: Are Americans ready for Big Tech to eliminate passwords?