Posts Tagged ‘computers’

When will my computer know who I am?

September 18, 2012

Passwords, Userid’s and 4-digit codes are the bane of my life and I am still waiting for the computer which knows – uniquely and reliably  – whenever I happen to be using it. I am probably very average when I find that I have twelve different passwords, five different Userid’s and eight 4-digit codes that I use regularly and which – so far – I generally manage to keep separate in my memory. As I get older I expect I shall have increasing difficulty in remembering and keeping track of these. I find that – already – I sometimes refrain from taking on new commitments, buying new on-line services, joining new groups or registering at new sites if I need to find yet another password to be remembered. The need for defining and remembering new passwords is now – in fact – limiting the extent to which I use the on-line world.

New models of computers, tablets and smart phones are released – it seems – every other day. For at least the last 10 years the possibility of personal identification of the user by the device has promised much but has not yet delivered. I look forward to each release eagerly only to be disappointed each time.  Each new device has new features. It can do more, remember more, is faster or more “intelligent” or has a larger memory but none has the capability to know – for sure –  who I am.

One of these days I will be able to switch on my device (computer, phone whatever) and it will know that it is “I” – and nobody else – who is operating the device and I will need no further passwords or pin-codes to access any connection or my account at any site through that particular device. That’s the dream.

In the meantime the search goes on but I am not sure that this aspect of “customer-friendliness” is very high up on the priority list. But it should be. I foresee a new explosion in on-line usage when a secure method of personal identification becomes available. PC manufacturers have been trying to use fingerprint recognition for some time, Intel is working on palm recognition and Apple is working on face recognition. Keystroke authentication, retina prints and other biometric or behavioural patterns have also been suggested. But before my dream is realised, the manufacturers have to hone in on a few methods which have then to be exhaustively tested before being widely accepted. New international standards will have to be agreed and  established before the banks and insurance  and credit card companies accept the identification method as being sufficiently secure.

It remains a dream – but passwords have to become obsolete sometime and I do hope it happens within the next two years.


%d bloggers like this: