Jonathan LeBlanc, the head of Global Developer Advocacy at PayPal, thinks that as long as systems rely on a username/password structure to identify people, some folks are inevitably going to set their password to, well, "Password" (or "12345" or "qwerty") and end up compromising their security, reports the Wall Street Journal.
— Martin Williams (@Martin1Williams) April 20, 2015
His solution? To Kill All Passwords, as the title of a presentation he's been taking through the rounds of tech conferences aptly puts it.
Technological advances mean that the doors have opened to "true integration with the human body," LeBlanc says. Though fingerprint scanning and other "external" identifiers are getting a lot of talk, really the future is inside us — in identifying our vein structure, for example, or our heartbeat's unique electrical signature.
— عا بیہ (@Aabia_) April 20, 2015
Those are two avenues PayPal is already exploring with partners, though there's no telling if these specific techniques will be adopted by the company. At this point it's more of an exploration of ideas, LeBlanc told the Journal.
— Christin Gorman (@ChristinGorman) April 12, 2015
"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 said.
Sensors in our skin or our brains could detect some property of our physical selves and communicate it to “wearable computer tattoos." Systems like these could “put users in charge of their own security,” LeBlanc said.
— Werner Twertzog (@WernerTwertzog) April 12, 2015
Alternatively, digestible capsules that use stomach acid-powered batteries could also transmit uniquely identifying information — like glucose levels — to external destinations.
Data would be encrypted to protect against hacking, LeBlanc said.
— Stephen Juliano (@StephenJuliano) April 14, 2015
LeBlanc says the ideas currently being pursued are solidly based on tangible technological advances, though he recognizes that it may seem like science fiction and that some people might, understandably, resist the idea of an implantable or injectable "password".
"I ground a lot of my talks in reality, but toward the end of the presentation things get a little strange."
— Peter Malaczynski (@HaggleSearch) April 8, 2015