Why, after all these years, are gifted developers, interaction designers, global service integrators, device makers, municipal governments, federal governments, advertisers, retailers… and financial services businesses of all kinds, unable to help people declare:
“I-am-who-I-say-I-am”, … when-I-am-who-I-claim-to-be
say, to a computing system, of any size or legacy?
This problem isn’t: new, small, or ordinary. Is there some kind of reverse-turing-test that needs to be written before it will be seen as a grand challenge?
Here is Rob Conery’s awakening, on the road to Damascus:
“…Problem is I have a few emails that I use – and if I didn’t use my Google login (as I thought I did above) – I really have no idea which email it is. So I start rifling off all of my emails, waiting to see if SO would know who I am.
Honestly – I feel dumb about this. How could I possibly forget how I logged in? Also – how could I not know which emails are associated with which providers I setup? And hey WAIT A MINUTE, if Stackoverflow doesn’t require email… well what if my provider didn’t send it? I have a lot more to say about that, but let’s get back on track.
As I sit there and grumble about emails and Open ID, Avery is in my ear saying “Dude you used a different provider”. Not a chance – I don’t have another Open ID as far as I can remember.
Oh shit. Right.
I remember that I once setup a MyOpenID account! That was years ago and I never use it … but YES! It’s coming back to me now… So I head over to MyOpenID and go to login and…
Yep, username/password and I have no idea what it is. I try 5 or so combinations and finally figure it out. And I login to StackOverflow. “At least Jeff doesn’t charge money” I think. If he did, I have a feeling this feature would be gone.
And James is still laughing.
Welcome To My Nightmare
I’m both a developer and a business owner. I care about the technology, I care about my users more…”
Rob’s experiences aren’t the experiences of luddite, a soccer-mom, nor a ne-er-do-well. They are the experiences of someone who’s business it is to know better. As for that pesky little authentication question: how can this problem remain hiding – in plain sight.