Today, TechFreedom joins a coalition of advocacy organizations and identity protection companies to launch Petition Against Passwords , an initiative aiming to demonstrate consumers’ demand for better methods of online data security. The following quote can be attributed to Berin Szoka , President of TechFreedom:
To paraphrase Homer Simpson, that great sage, technology is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. Activists tend to focus on innovation as a threat to privacy, but innovation is precisely what we need to better protect users from theft of their identity, sensitive data, or control over their social media accounts. We’re calling on companies to move beyond fundamentally insecure model of username plus password.
Multiple-factor authentication is far more secure and can be done in ways that are still user-friendly. Today, it’s most commonly done by sending verification codes to your smartphone. But we’re not trying to pick a winner; we want innovation, experimentation and competition. We just want to spur the companies we all trust with our data to start investing in better locks.
A few statistics illustrate how broken the password-only model is: More than 70% of users forget a password each month; 65% report writing down passwords to remember them. Since 2005 , web companies suffered nearly 3800 database breaches, compromising the identities of almost one billion users and causing untold monetary damages. Even a single breach can be disastrous: when hackers hijacked the Associated Press’ Twitter account and falsely reported explosions at the White House, the stock market tumbled by $136 billion .
Szoka is available for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org .