Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Answer to Verification and Authentication?

I tweeted a very interesting article by Dan Raywood titled “A question of verification and authentication.” It’s a good article and I certainly recommend reading it. There’s a comment in the article from Richard Law, CEO of GB Group that reminded me of something. His firm’s verification technology is used as a third-party solution to verify users by retailers, banks and gambling websites.

The system it built in 2004 verifies 13 million people a year and its vision is to verify anyone anywhere in the world at any time and to be a true enabler of online business.

Law said that if an instance were to arise where GB Group became the trusted issuer, it would have to convince everyone to give them their data and it would issue a token that would be verifiable to them.

For some reason my memory bank spit out that what we might need has already been predicted in the movie “The Forbin Project.” A supercomputer that controls our identity data and can positively verify us. But, I’m positive that would never come to happen. Would it?

Law’s technology would take 536 years to verify the world’s population at 13M per year. It just goes to show you that we have a Colossus of a project on our hands and we haven’t really even started to or tried to verify identities that our outside of the developed world.

This problem will never go away. Just because we have fire insurance doesn’t mean there will never be a fire. The same goes for identity verification. We have to accept the fact that no matter how much insurance we put around identity we’ll never prevent 100% of identity theft or misuse of identity.

In the United States most banks still issue credit cards without chips. Why don’t they move to a more verifiable, more secure platform for transactions? The cost of doing nothing hasn’t exceeded the cost of the fraudulent transactions. Who needs fire insurance if you have enough money to re-build and you don’t care about the damage you incur due to the fire?

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