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PayPal security expert suggests edible passwords will make e-commerce safer

29 May 2015 - 12:48 by Graham Miller

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PayPal is a firm which relies entirely on its reputation for providing a secure platform for financial transactions to take place in order to survive. And even with all of its barriers in place, it is still reliant on users picking strong passwords to prevent fraud.

However, the future of password technology may lie elsewhere, with PayPal spokesperson, Jonathan Leblanc, suggesting that the best way to solve security issues is to make it possible for people to log into online accounts through a new, biometric process.

While biometric logins are already in place, with the iPhone range from Apple having embraced fingerprint scanning, Leblanc’s idea is a little different. He believes that, in the long run, people will be able to swallow electronic pills, which allow them to be uniquely identified by services like PayPal and thus carry out safe shopping online in a completely protected bubble.

So-called natural body identification systems will make written passwords a thing of the past, not only improving the security of e-commerce solutions and online banking, but also making it much quicker and easier to log in.

The Wall Street Journal reports that weak passwords can be augmented by and, ultimately, replaced with physical identifiers. And by swallowing a pill it would be possible for various measurements to be taken automatically, so that users can be pinpointed precisely.

In spite of Leblanc’s statements, PayPal itself subsequently said that it is not actively pursuing the idea of password-replacing pills that can be swallowed. But of course, the concepts put across by one of its executives are simply hinting at what the future of online security might look like, rather than giving solid facts about what the company he works for is actively attempting to achieve.