Yesterday we were discussing a governmental proposal to eliminate a need for passwords, and today there is news about Apple and Google with their own plans. These plans would make your phone a universal ID and also incorporate the phone as your debit card. Now picture this if you will. You walk into a public place to use a computer and all you have to do is place your phone next to the computer. You are automatically logged in and you can safely buy online, do your banking or other financial transactions without fear. Even if a bad guy tries to access your information later from the same system, it would be impossible.
You go out to your car and just push the start button. Your car talks to your phone and confirms it is you, and the vehicle starts. Stopping at your local 7-11 just got easier as well since to make a purchase you just to need to swipe your phone across a scanner. Owe someone a few bucks? No problem. Just type in the amount you owe them and place your phones together for an instant auto transfer of funds.
Does all of this sound like it is a futuristic idea? Think again. According to one recent article Apple and Google are in the process of implementing just such a system.
The magic happens when you can combine a biometric ID system (which uses some kind of scan from a smart phone to verify that you’re actually in possession of the device) with a secure short-distance wireless communication technology that other devices (cash registers, PCs etc.) can read.
That’s right boys and girls, your phone will rule your life. By adding a single additional chip to your phone and maybe a fingerprint scanner, you would have a secure system in theory. So if a hacker wants to break into your phone they would need to cut your fingers off. Sounds secure to me. :-)
Yes, I am being factious.
A retinal scan may be a better option.
But before you start to lose any sleep over these proposals, there is going to be a need for standards. There is also a need to provide a safe system that also addresses privacy concerns. Plus there will be a need to coordinate all of this with a banking system, that might not be willing to spend money on new technologies to implement a new system.
What do you think? Would you be willing to use such a system, if and when it became available?