So, I trudged to my keyboard, logged into a few sites, and I did what hopefully a few million other people did– change passwords. Again. The password pilferages we read about likely are the tip of the iceberg as many more successful hacks never make it to the headlines. That got me to thinking about Apple’s ability to disrupt staid old industries from time to time. Well, it’s time.
Kill. The. Password.
Technological changes do not come overnight. Despite a few leaps and surges most changes are incremental in nature. Remember Touch ID fingerprint sensor. That’s a step toward eliminating passwords; not altogether, but at least eliminating the need to remember a password for twenty eleven different apps on your iPhone.
For example, for many apps which require a password to open and access sensitive or highly valued data, Touch ID becomes the easy layer of access that remains mostly secure. It doesn’t eliminate passwords, but it makes it easier to access data without having to remember an overly long or complex password.
I think Apple can do better. First, let’s get Touch ID to the Mac. There’s room. Do it already because Touch ID– though just another layer of security– is convenient and simple enough to be used by the masses.
Second, layer in both voice recognition and facial recognition. The voice component can be a combination of each human voice print, which some say is as unique as a fingerprint, with a keyword; something of a verbal password which could be setup by the Mac, iPhone, or iPad user. Third, almost every Mac and all iOS devices come with a built-in camera. Add facial recognition to the package.
How Does It Work?
The way I envision this for Mac users is simple. Sit down at the keyboard. Tap Touch ID– whether in the Mac itself, or embedded into trackpad, or mouse– to unlock level 1. At the same time, assuming the other two levels– voice and facial recognition– have been setup, those components could be implemented automatically. After all, you’re sitting in front of the Mac’s screen, camera, and microphone. Look into the camera and speak the keyword to unlock the Mac.
iPhone and iPad would work much the same way. Users would have the choice of no security layer at all, including Touch ID, or each one, two or all three could be implemented, depending up on the security requirements.
The pieces for this trio of security layers are already in place. Touch ID works already on a few hundred million iPhones and iPads so the technology is dependable and stable. Voice recognition and facial recognition could be added to the package with little more than software. Combined, the three would provide for a greater level of security, yet provide easy access.
Apple won’t be able to kill off the password for awhile, but it could hasten the process simply by layering in addition, easy to use security options, which, when combined, make for better security that remains accessible to the masses.