PayPal is moving forward with developing new ways for customers to access their online accounts, specifically by proposing more secure methods like brain implants that can be used instead of clients having to use traditional written passwords like they do today. Jonathan LeBlanc, PayPal's head of global developer advocacy, stated in his recent presentation, Kill all Passwords, that using passwords is no longer a safe option for customers, and that we should replace passwords with biometric identification. LeBlanc proposed using options such as injected, embedded, or ingested devices that would allow for “natural body identification.”
LeBlanc points out that for many people, their passwords don't offer them a lot of security, he proposes that biometric identification is a better idea. One current option being developed is a wireless silicon chip that can be inserted into the person's body, it contains ECG sensors and it would relay information through a wireless antennae. "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," said LeBlanc. They are also looking at chip tattoos, vein recognition, and more. Granted, there already are devices that use some of this technology such as those for glucose detection, blood pressure monitoring, and others. But they are looking to expand on that technology and apply it to security systems for password identification and user.
The biometric identification option would relay information such as heartbeat, glucose levels, and other individual markers. LeBlanc insists that the more websites that we use, the more passwords that we need to come up with, and this prompts some people to choose simpler passwords so that they can remember more easily. His solution to our laziness is of course that we inject our bodies with chips and implants, without knowing what the long-term consequences of that might be. It should also be mentioned that there have been several studies linking RFID implants to cancer in animals.
PayPal wants to make it clear that they themselves are not developing the technology. They have said that they “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.” LeBlanc has pointed out that PayPal will only be working in conjunction along with other development companies who are working to create these technologies. LeBlanc pressed on the point that such technology would need to be made to fit into “cultural norms” before it could be accepted by the general public.
PayPal adds to the list of companies who have already demonstrated support and encouragement for a push toward further embedding biometric identification technology within our society and everyday lives. We have also seen support from Coca Cola, with their RFID villages in Israel, and other corporations. Coinciding with the increasing war on cash, we know that we can expect to see a marketed push in the direction of using more biometric identification technology in our lives. With companies looking to apply the technology to things like national voting systems, daily payment exchanges, logging into daily websites, and more.
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