11 thoughts on “Take a look at IBM's 5 innovations for the next 5 years”

  1. Retinal scans are the stuff of science fiction as they are invasive and restricted to licensed opthamologists. But iris scanning is a reality and much more individualistic than fingerprints. There are a couple of companies making iris based ID scanners that could be used for POS identification instead of swiping a credit card.

  2. If #2 (biometric identification) indeed happens, we’ll also need more effective means to delegate authority. Translate, “Honey, could you log into my account and send that thing this afternoon?” into a biometrics only world… So perhaps a niche for a “power of attorney” type service that biometrically authenticates you, and then is directed to grant “as you” authority to select others, for select applications.

      1. Not at all (though obviously there are security issues every time you introduce new links in chains); what’s important is not that “I am me,” but that “This action is being taken with my authority.” I know there are many more cases of sharing accounts/password than there are implementations of appropriate ways to delegate authority; the latter is really needed.

        Related, just who/what’s doing this biometric authentication? Lots of sites have outsourced identity management (via old-timey passwords) to Facebook (and I had the option to do so with your site via several, and chose Twitter)… will there be a battle over who actually makes the call (and presumably may be on the hook for liability) that you’re you, and will that be fought by FB and Twitter, and/or Microsoft and Apple?

      2. There is a distinction between Authentication (ie – proving who you say you are) and Authorization (ie – getting access to what you can do).

        Biometrics might lead to an increase in delegated authorization because of the lack of anonymity. Think about a University offering access to a third party system to all it’s students. I don’t want this third party to have my biometrics data. But what could happen is to get the University System to Authenticate me – and for it to Authorize the 3rd Party Provider to give me access to the resources I need.

        Biometrics is potentially great – but some level of anonymity is going to be required. And it will probably come from delegation.

  3. Junk mail is already priority mail in the sense that right now only 10% of my mail is bills, and the other 90% is junk mail.

  4. DARPA also has a recently announced R&D program on authentication via behavior, discussed at the cybersecurity colloquium I attended last month… the idea there is that one has a mechanical signature, e.g., the patterns of your keystrokes, etc. I’ll try to dig up a reference, and the name of the program manager there.

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