For a while now, whenever I see Google is about to (re)invented something, I just assume it will be a mayor privacy concern. What’s even worst is that, like in this case, often their “inventions” are just a cheep excuse to collect even more data from their already overly abused users.
So what is it this time?
“We have a phone, and these phones have all these sensors in them. Why couldn’t it just know who I was, so I don’t need a password?” said Daniel Kaufman at Google I/O developer conference.
What a wonderful word, where I need not to input and remember couple of random letters or a sentence anymore.
For this magnificent invention to work, Google will need to continually collect your data, like typing patterns, walking patterns, your current location, and more.
The best part of it is that such data is utterly unreliable for purposes of authentication. Consider following cases which would influence all of the above mentioned data sources, in some cases drastically: relocation, switching of job, illness, traveling (this is a big one), even a break up, and I could easily go on.
So what happens in those times when you just don’t look like you and Google’s lovely system doesn’t recognize you anymore? Well, apps which are using it, would revert back to asking for passwords. So, that means you’d have to set and remember a password, just like you have to now, rendering this horrific project utterly useless for end users, but very useful for Google and anyone else who’d have ability to tap into, in this case huge, database of very sensitive personal information.
To put icing on top of this poisonous cake, imagine a scenario: you’ve just break up with your partner, you need to relocate, you’re utterly stressed and depressed and now, on top of everything, all your apps collectively committed suicide and are nagging you to remember all your passwords, which you’ve possibly set a long time ago, and did not use ever since.
Finally, I shall not even touch what kind of an impact all these sensors running all the time would have on a battery life of your already power-thirsty mobile device.
And of course, did I mention privacy? I did? Well, I shall mention it again, because this is a mayor dystopian privacy nightmare, which yields practically no benefit for an end user.
So, indeed, a wonderful idea, I guess this is what you get if you’re asking Why are manhole covers round? on your job interviews. Bravo Google.