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Re: OpenID. The future of authentication on the web?
From: Paul Schmehl <pauls () utdallas edu>
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2008 19:46:07 -0500

--On March 23, 2008 8:04:41 PM -0400 Larry Seltzer 
<Larry () larryseltzer com> wrote:

I understand the attractiveness of not having to remember lots of IDs
and passwords, but when you give up control of your data, you give up
control of your future.

Normal people aren't going to remember enough passwords, let alone
strong passwords, to make that control meaningful. I do get your point,
but I bet that the best alternative is to give them one set of
credentials and make it as strong as possible.

I agree with your premise, Larry.  It's the solution I object to.  The 
correct solution, imo, is one that allows the user to retain control of 
their data.  The password managers in browsers are an early attempt at 
this.  Mac's File Vault is another.  The correct solution, IMO, would be 
an encrypted password vault, stored on a USB drive and only available 
through the use of a password and some other form of identification 
(biometric, etc.)

In other words, a combination of something you have and something you 
know, not something someone else has and something you know.  If I'm 
carrying my passwords in encrypted form in a device I possess, I have 
complete control of who gets granted access to my data, and the compromise 
of any one vendor site that I visit will, at the worst, compromise the 
data I granted them access to.

Paul Schmehl (pauls () utdallas edu)
Senior Information Security Analyst
The University of Texas at Dallas

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