Google is planning to get rid of passwords, and switch entirely towards a new system of authentication. Currently codenamed as Project Abacus, this new method of authentication is one of Google’s top innovative entities for the current year.
Basically, the idea involves using a set of biometric readings based on smartphone usage in lieu of passwords or SMS verification. As such, Project Abacus will lock or unlock your devices on the basis of trust score — it will monitor the manner in which you interact with your smartphone, voice and speech patterns, the way in which you type, your face or other biometrics, location and travel habits, and so on. Thereafter, it will evolve a method based on such data to identify “you”, and authenticate you accordingly.
Of course, this sounds pretty fancy and futuristic — the fact that your smartphone will truly be smart enough to “identify” you, and act accordingly. It is still in development, but more and more users are speaking in favor of it.
— 🕸Chris Messina (@chrismessina) January 10, 2016
However, those against the concept of Abacus are strong too. Breach of privacy, access to user behavior and possibilities of a security issue, etc. are just some of the arguments against Project Abacus. More importantly, its practical implementation too is questionable — assuming Abacus identifies a user on the basis of their current behavior, what if the said user’s behavior changes due to a life-altering accident (say, a physical disability)? How will Abacus adapt to such changes and more importantly, how will it verify identity immediately after such changes?
To learn more about Project Abacus, check out this video:
What do you think of this step by Google? Share your views in the comments below.