France sounds death-knell for online passwords

Where we're going, we don't need passwords
Where we're going, we don't need passwords

The French government has announced plans to do away with internet passwords, exchanging the security system for a 'digital certificate'.

According to French newspaper 20 Minutes, the scheme has been concocted by the French Secretary of State (and digital economy bod) Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet who hopes the idea of a digital certificate will be picked up by French websites. So far 20 have signed up to the project, where users of the sites will be allowed access once their certification is verified.

It's not just any old websites, either, who have become part of the trial but the French Banking Federation, the Federation of French Insurers and La Poste. So, lets hope the scheme works or this could allow easy access for hackers looking for a back door.

PIN cushion

The certificate is looking likely to come in the form of a USB, SIM card or smart card and, a bit like Firefox's Form Complete function, you won't have to constantly tap in the same information about your address etc as the card will do this for you.

The idea that a USB holding vital government information sounds like a recipe for disaster, considering the UK's track record for data loss.

It sounds as if the devices will be PIN/password protected though which shows that you can never get rid of that pesky password no matter how hard you try.

Via CounterMeasures and 20 Minutes

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.