Monday, July 22, 2019

It took five seconds for Apple to convince people that actual passwords are a hassle. What took so long?

Or "Passwords, Smashwords."

Seriously, how far have we gone off the rails that anyone would think that this is a good idea- wait, not just a good idea, but amazingly beneficial technology that we should line up at the Apple store to purchase ASAP? 

Originally, cellphones didn't require passwords to "unlock" access to those phones because they were only used to make calls.  Kind of helpful in an emergency if you can use someone else's phone.  Sure, you could get encryption for your phone but why would you want that, it's not like your phone provided you instant access to bank accounts and other sensitive material.

Then, one day, we woke up and our phones were the little vaults that held all kinds of personal information, including very sensitive banking info like access to our hard-earned money.  Well then, passwords became kind of a neccessity.  If phones were going to be the key to our savings, checkings, mortgage and investment accounts, they were going to have to be super-secure. 

And now that we're living in the Age of Openness, where "privacy" is a silly, outdated idea and everything we do is done in the spotlight, where more and more of my students tell me every year that they couldn't care less if the government listens in on phone conversations or reads their emails because "I've got nothing to hide," we get this:  Phones you can unlock simply by looking at them. 

Nobody sees any potential problems with this, huh?  Everyone thinks that this tech was designed to make our lives easier- heck, even more "secure" (like maybe the old guy in this ad is still into security because he grew up in a world where Personal Information was still a thing,) right?  Nobody thinks that this is going to lead to endless cases of fraud- how long before you can just agree to purchase something by looking at a website, won't that be just another Super Convenient Timesaver?  Just like having an Alexa listening on everything you say, what wouldn't be great about a phone which instantly opens the moment you glance at it? 

And all because it's too much of a pain to touch four numbers on a screen.  Uh huh. s

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