Seriously? Google Wants to Go Green Lantern on Us to Replace Passwords

Author: Steve Woods
Published: January 19, 2013 at 7:09 am

In an attempt to circumvent the growing issue of forgotten credentials, and to make logging into online services more secure across devices, Google has come up with an unusual idea, according to an article in Digital Trends.

While some like myself have purchased secure apps that can reveal our login information when forgotten, Google simply wants to do away with the password, through the use of hardware. Their idea thus far? A tiny microchip embedded in a USB-inserted "Yubico key" or even in a near-field-activated ring worn on a finger.

"We’d like your smartphone or smartcard-embedded finger ring to authorize a new computer via a tap on the computer, even in situations in which your phone might be without cellular connectivity," said Google Vice President of Security Eric Grosse, who penned an article on the subject for IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine along with Engineer Mayank Upadhyay.

I understand the frustration, really I do. I can't tell you how many times I've had to wait for someone to remember their login information for a variety of online services, while they dig through (horrors) spreadsheets of passwords and usernames. But hardware I have to lug around (and likely, eventually, lose)?

I believe Google engineers are facing up to a real problem, as system hacks of logins at a variety of online services have been creating financial and security havoc on the rest of us. We're rapidly losing our online trust, as Google continues to integrate more and more of our lives through a fragile login system. But seriously - is this the way out of our problems? A little USB plug-in or some bling?

The only ring I happily take with me everywhere is my wedding ring, and I'll be damned if I let Google's engineers retrofit the one small metal piece of my life that says my heart belongs to someone IRL (In Real Life).

Maybe Google engineers could consider the use of a device's motion-sensitive camera or even microphone to allow the more forgetful of us to simply interact with our device in a unique way, when we forget our login information? There's gotta be a better way, guys.

Unless, of course, Google comes up with a cool saying to go along with that awesome ring, something along the lines of:

"Oh aging memory, in blackest bind, no password shall escape my mind. Let those who worship Google's might, beware my power, Green Lantern's light!"

About this article

Profile image for dopodomani

Article Author: Steve Woods

Tech Geek. Digital Sommelier. Tea Aficionado. Founder of Twitter: @YouKnowSteve

Steve Woods's author pageAuthor's Blog

Article Tags

Share: Bookmark and Share