Google have announced new plans to improve the password process that mean you have less to remember, instead transferring the burden to the device to do all manner of calculations to verify the person trying to gain access.
The problem with passwords
We’ve all been there, a deadline is approaching, or you need remote access to your bank account, and you just cannot remember the password. There are those who use the same password for everything, but then all someone needs is that one watchword and they have access to your complete life. Or you are one of those that have different passwords for everything, well, good luck remembering those! You can even have an app that stores passwords, but guess what, that needs a password too! Forget that and you’re in real trouble. I sometimes think my computer must be laughing ta me when I click ‘forgot password’ for the umpteenth time in day.
What’s worse, you can no longer use your mom’s maiden name or your favorite football team, now you usually need a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers, symbols, Google have announced new plans to improve the password process , the works, all of which his great to stop hackers, but not good for the poor old brain. It is estimated that most people in the western world have approaching 100 passwords they need to use on a regular basis, and with the number of devices people own ever increasing, things are only going to get worse.
The Google Solution
Well relax my friends, Google is working on a new replacement for the password (if anyone is using Passw0rd still they deserve to be hacked!). This new feature was demonstrated at the I/O conference and has been called Trust API. In the near future, Android users will be able to log into their smartphones with a combination of things, including facial recognition, typing patterns, vocal recognition and even the way they move. It is a change of approach, that instead of looking for one big cast iron lock, it is more a big concoction of weaker locks but when all combined make a tough door to open. Individually none would provide anything like the security desired these days, but when all considered Google believe that the result would be ten times stronger than a fingerprint (which was first introduced on the iPhone5S but has not been as reliable as was first imagined – sweaty fingers anyone…)
The service would be continually running on the phone, learning how you use it, your patterns of behavior, and data all feeds into the API system to give a ‘trust score’ of how likely you are who you say you are. If for example you are using the phone while walking, the system will know your usual pace, and if that changes significantly to what is expected the phone may be locked, and you would have to log back in. Down to the way you usually swipe the screen, speed, pressure, location on the screen, all these factors are fed in, and the API makes a calculated decision if you are the same user.
Initial plans are to trial the system with large financial corporations as this is where the greatest demand is found. MasterCard has discussed plans for customers to use ‘selfies’ or fingerprints as a method of verification and HSBC has also announced plans to try to introduce voice recognition in the place of traditional passwords.
Whether you are a 123456789 password kinda guy, or a little more sophisticated with your choice of keyword, this is surely good news for everyone. Learning how you use your phone, typical behavioral patterns and some bio-metric data all combined could see the traditional binary password consigned to history. Let’s hope so!