Forgetting your password can be a terrible experience. First you have to reset it, then you have to come up with a password that holds up to technical specs and is more than "12345" or "password." What if there was a way to create a never-changing password that was secure and you never had to carry it with you?
This is the idea behind a new device that Jonathan LeBlanc, PayPal's global head of developer evangelism, describes as "natural body identification," according to the Wall Street Journal.
During a presentation he calls "Kill All Passwords," LeBlanc told the audience that he thinks technology has taken a major step towards integrating technology with the natural human body. In fact, LeBlanc thinks that developers could use the tech to fix a major security problem; bad passwords.
LeBlanc believes that tech like this would help increase user security. "As long as passwords remain the standard methods for identifying your users on the web, people will still continue to use 'letmein' or 'password123' for their secure login, and will continue to be shocked when their accounts become compromised," he told WSJ.
Now, natural body identification isn't perfect. LeBlanc notes that not all biological methods of passwords are reliable.
"While there are more advanced methods to increase login security, like location verification, identifying people by their habits like the way they type in their passwords, fingerprints and other biometric identifiers, these can lead to false negative results, where valid users can't log in to their online services, and false positives, where invalid users can log in," WSJ reported.
That's why LeBlanc recommends tech that he describes as more accurate methods of identity verification, specifically "thin silicon chips which can be embedded into the skin." The wireless chips can contain ECG sensors that monitor the heart's unique electrical activity, and communicate the data via wireless antennae to "wearable computer tattoos." Users could also swallow a tech-powered pill that would track certain biological signatures, such as glucose levels and broadcast them out to the proper sensors.
LeBlanc also revealed that PayPal "was working with partners who are building vein recognition technologies, as well as heartbeat recognition bands."
PayPal is also working with developers, mostly through 24-hour hackathons, who are building prototypes of futuristic ID verification techniques. That doesn't mean that PayPal is going to implement such tech in the near future, though; just that it's going to try and become a "thought leader."
LeBlanc believes our culture has a long way to go before it will be acceptable to utilize such technology, though he does not reveal his reasons for such an assertion.