Sunday, April 19, 2015

PayPal wants to inject and make users eat passwords in future



PayPal is working towards bringing a new method of identification that would involve embeddable, injectable and ingestible devices for all the online payments and other financial transactions.

Recently in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Leblanc, global head developer for PayPal, said that technology has indeed taken a huge step and it is high time that we replace our verification methods of the username and password. It seems that passwords are being broken easily and hence we need to look forward to conjoin the passwords with the human body.

Leblanc’s “Kill all Passwords” presentation, that he has been giving at US and Europe tech conferences highlights the necessity of “true integration with the human body.” Leblanc works with engineers and developers to bring about new identification technologies. He believes that using external body parts like the finger prints, iris scan are all old formulae and now we need to use “natural body identification” which means the heart beat and vein recognition methods will be incorporated in future for online identification and verification.

Leblanc further added: “If there’s a weak password you need to harden that with something physical behind it.” He suggests that the new technology will involve use of devices which will be either embedded or consumed by the user. The embedded device might involve use of “brain implants that are attached to computers” so here user by themselves are in charge of their security, as the device is secured within their body. As far as the ingestible or consumed devices are concerned they can run on batteries that is powered by the organic acid that is present in the stomach!

Further, Leblanc also mentioned about various other unconventional and advanced log in methods which is based on mapping the location of the user; Habit identification wherein verification of people is based on the way they type their passwords; other bio-metric identifiers like the finger prints etc. However, Leblanc is doubtful regarding the fool proofness of these methods. According to him these methods can be hacked leading to a scenario which might stop the valid user from logging in and helping the hacker to easily log in as a valid user!

He further said that PayPal is currently engaged in developing prototypes of innovative ID verification techniques. PayPal is also working with various other firms who are working towards building technologies like the Vein recognition and Heartbeat recognition techniques.

Leblanc said that in future we can have new accurate methods of identification which would include transplanting thin silicon chips into human skin. These chips would contain the ECG sensors which will be monitoring the unique electrical activity of human heart which is known as ECG. This ECG will be conveyed through wireless antennae to “hi tech wearable computer tattoos.” This will ensure that the information is secured as the human would carry all the devices on person and within their body. Further, he also mentioned the Ingestible Capsules which will work by detecting the glucose levels and other unique biological features of human body as a measure of identification and then convey this data to some device which has been set up outside the human body. Leblanc added that all these sensitive data will be further protected by encryption.

Further Leblanc added: “I can’t speculate as to what PayPal will do in the future, but we’re looking at new techniques – we do have fingerprint scanning that is being worked on right now – so we’re definitely looking at the identity field.” He further also added: “By talking about new bio-metric verification technologies, PayPal is not necessarily signaling that it’s thinking about adopting them, rather positioning itself as a thought leader.”

Leblanc said that all these ingestible, embeddable, injectable devices are still under developmental stages and may be just an idea and it will be some time before all these ID devices will actually find a way in the human lives because people will need to change their cultural norms before they are ready to accept these devices in their body!!

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