DIGITAL RIP-OFF MERCHANT PayPal has detailed a number of biometric security solutions that it believes could replace the conventional password.
The biometric solutions include embedded chip tattoos, vein recognition and even ingestible technology that would mean people no longer need to worry about fraudsters nicking their sensitive information or digital dosh.
The payments firm is flogging the idea via a presentation at various technology conferences entitled Kill all Passwords, where it claims that the rise of hacking and phishing targeting online banking services will lead people to use tighter security.
This next step, PayPal says, includes inserting security devices into the body to allow the use of unique internal characteristics to log-in to accounts.
It sounds a little far-fetched, but PayPal's global head of developer advocacy, Jonathan LeBlanc, who is currently giving these presentations, doesn't seem to think so.
He listed the most frequently used passwords, including '123456', 'password', '12345678', 'qwerty' and 'abc123', stating that a huge 40 percent of people have a password included in the top 100 passwords list and 14 percent have a password from the most used 10.
"As long as passwords remain the standard method for identifying your users on the web, people will still continue to use 'letmein' or 'password123' for their secure log-in, and will continue to be shocked when their accounts become compromised," he said.
LeBlanc said that, after working with developers to uncover and trial new forms of secure account log-in, embeddable, injectable and ingestible devices are the future for mobile payments.
Devices that use some of this technology already exist, such as those used for medical applications including glucose detection, blood pressure monitoring and digestive health.
LeBlanc even went as far as to say that more recently developed online interactions using external bodily methods, such as fingerprints, used by the likes of Apple for its iPhones and iPads, are "antiquated" and will be phased out before services like PayPal will consider using them.
Sounding like something from a sci-fi film, another idea of PayPal's is that a brain chip implant could allow humans to authenticate themselves online.
PayPal, which at the moment is still owned by auction site eBay, will become its own business again at some point this year following news of a split in 2014.
The numbers from eBay's fourth-quarter and full-year financial statements last year explained that there will be a cull of about seven percent of staffers in the first quarter of 2015.
Meanwhile, PayPal faces challenges from established players and new entrants like Apple, which offers some kind of phone-based option.
Since publication, Paypal has said it wants to make clear that it has not made any plans to develop any kind of biometric technology itself, in case you wondered.
"We have no plans to develop injectable or edible verification systems. It's clear that passwords as we know them will evolve and we aim to be at the forefront of those developments," said the firm in an emailed statement sent to The INQUIRER.
"We were a founding member of the FIDO alliance, and the first to implement fingerprint payments with Samsung. New PayPal-driven innovations such as one touch payments make it even easier to remove the friction from shopping.
"We're always innovating to make life easier and payments safer for our customers no matter what device or operating system they are using." µ
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