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Too Many Passwords? Try Biometrics

Boot Camp feature for Monday, April 8, 2002

Your password is your fingerprint. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's one of the hazards of the digital age, the plethora of passwords. How many do you struggle to remember? Smart cards and biometric devices can make that task easier. Panasonic, for instance, has what it calls an Authenticam that uses iris recognition to replace passwords. And Targus has introduced a fingerprint recognition device it calls theDEFCON Authenticator. It plugs into the USB port on a PC or notebook. Senior product manager Daniel Wong...

"We believe that with your fingerprint, that is your only password. What we've done is we've bundled a biometric application that allows you to replace all the passwords. So now you have the ability to basically log onto your notebook with your fingerprint. And even within your notebook, you have the ability to encrypt files or folders.

A good idea, perhaps, but it may make it even harder to remember those passwords when you're using a different PC. Then there's the e-commerce potential...

"Eventually, in the long run, we'll see financial institutions implementing... when people go to e-commerce, people would want a safe way to have some type of transaction and making sure people don't have your password and we believe that biometrics is one of the applications that will be going forward."

A smart card solution, already being built into some PCs, could be the most portable. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.