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Time to say goodbye to all those passwords
Category : General 28 Jan 2011 11:06 AM | Industry News
The proposal could possibly use a chip to store encrypted information, with a single password, to connect to web sites that sign up for the program. According to the Commerce Department this will help consumers log on quickly to online sites and would increase online business sales.
So what this sounds like is that each of us could have our own unique Internet identity system or National ID of some sort, to log onto the Internet. The log-on would be controlled by a system that would identify you, your computer, your smart phone or other device, so that you could shop online more securely. In addition the system should, in theory, make the web more secure for users. With just one log-on you could access Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google or any other online site.
A group representing companies including Verizon Communications Inc., Google Inc., PayPal Inc., Symantec Corp. and AT&T Inc. has supported the program, called the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, or NSTIC. “This is going to cause a huge shift in consumer use of the Internet,” said John Clippinger, co-director of the Law Lab at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Most companies have separate systems for signing on to e-mail accounts or conducting secure online transactions, requiring that users memorize multiple passwords and repeat steps. Under the new program, consumers would sign in just once and be able to move among other websites, eliminating the inconvenience that causes consumers to drop many transactions.
Bruce McConnell, a senior counselor for national protection at the Department of Homeland Security, said NSTIC may lead to a big reduction in the size of Internet help desks, which spend much of their time assisting users who have forgotten their passwords. Because the systems would be more secure, he said, it may also result in many transactions that are now done on paper, from pharmaceutical to real estate purchases, to be done online faster and cheaper.
“Innovation is one of the key aspects here,” said Ari Schwartz, a senior adviser for Internet policy at the Department of Commerce. “There’s so much that could be done if we could trust transactions more.”