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The Future of Online Authentication

An industry group that includes international corporations Lenovo and Paypal has formed an alliance which aims to overthrow the password.

The IT industry group Fast Identity Online, known as FIDO is developing methods that could lead to the abolishment of the old fashioned password. The group aims to revolutionise current online authentication standards with the use of a standards based open protocol. They believe that even the strongest of current authentication methods are flawed with problems such as memorising or storing multiple usernames and passwords.

The proposed method would use a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip to eliminate theft and re-use of passwords in the aim to make online accounts more secure. Suggested methods include voice recognition using existing inbuilt microphones, webcams in conjunction facial recognition technologies or finger print scanners. These authentication methods all give more power to the end device to confirm identity or not.

This approach is completely different to any method that has ever been trialled. By giving the power to the end user the credentials can be encrypted before being transferred across various networks. The technology could be implemented on a number of devices as an app or browser plug in.

If the methods are developed and approved by FIDO they will have to begin the task of recruiting other large web organisations such as Google and Facebook in order to get the authentication to stand a chance of becoming the new password.

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