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Macworld: The Everyday Agony of Passwords

My very first Macworld op-ed:

It’s hard to imagine an idea more inane than passwords. That we protect many of the most important aspects of our lives with little more than a short string of text is an extreme absurdity.

These collections of–admit it–eight characters are the gateways to everything from our bank accounts and medical records to our family photos to the most sensitive thoughts we’ve ever let slip via keyboard. To say merely that I loathe passwords would be to lump them with myriad other things in this world that deserve of a good loathing–whereas passwords deserve their own very special throne of infamy.

And the worst part of it all? There isn’t a single, viable alternative.

This piece is oriented towards consumers but the enterprise issues are extremely similar. I really don’t see any alternatives that work at scale, especially because most employees are ‘consumers’ (what a crappy word). CAC cards for gov/DoD are the closest to an exception I can find, and that’s a pretty specific audience (admittedly a large large one).

—Rich

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