Tech companies are trying to kill the password

Apple, Microsoft and Google are among the tech giants who are members of the Fast Identity Online Alliance that are trying to eliminate passwords, The Wall Street Journal reported March 22.

The alliance represents more than 250 companies, and has been around since 2013, but only recently has found a way to eliminate passwords altogether. In a white paper, the group explained how it can allow users to log into accounts using their face, a pin or fingerprints. 

Passwords have long been an issue on the internet. Every time a user logs into a device their password is sent through networks that are susceptible to outside attack. Users also often forget their passwords, potentially locking them out of accounts and leaving them frustrated. According to Merritt Maxim, vice president and research director at Forrester Research, passwords are the "cockroaches of the internet," annoying and hard to kill.

The technology from the alliance leverages the user's interconnected devices to unlock accounts and doesn't transmit any human readable information over the internet but instead connects a public key from the service provider to a private key embedded on the user's devices.

"Even though we know in 2022 that passwords are inherently insecure and creating lots of problems, getting people to actually secure them is still a challenge," Mr. Maxim told the Journal. "But let's remember that getting rid of passwords is a journey and not a sprint."

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