As everything around us becomes connected to the Internet, from cars to thermometers to the stuff inside our mobile phones, technologists are confronting a tough new challenge: How does a machine verify the identity of a human being?
In Redwood City, Calif., a start-up called OneID is offering a single sign-on for a variety of Web sites and devices. In a video, an engineer at OneID demonstrated how he used it to open his garage door at home. Jim Fenton, an engineer with OneID, demonstrated how to open a garage door using his company’s technology.
“The Achilles’ heel of the Internet of things is, how do you secure access to all these things?” said the engineer, Jim Fenton. “If you connect all these things to the Internet you need to have good ways — good from a security standpoint and a convenience standpoint — good ways to control access to things. Having user names and passwords is not a good solution for every device.”
Trouble is, not very many things — online or off — have yet adopted the OneID system, which means Mr. Fenton must still use a lot of user names and passwords. He keeps them in a couple of password managers on his computer, along with an encrypted USB stick. “It’s not fun,” he said.
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