This may be the stupidest idea to come out of Washington since the creation of the TSA.
Passwords are often shared among family, friends and spouses, and people typically use the same passwords for everything. Many experts say passwords are cybersecurity's weak link.If some people are that dumb, why punish those of use who use a different alphanumeric, case-sensitive hash everywhere, just because Joe Blow and Suzy Schmoe use the same "12345" each place they log in?
Anyway, how is this idea made of fail? Let us count the ways...
- It's another barrier to entry for budding e-commerce entrepreneurs. Whatever solution gets cooked up between government regulators and giants like Google, Amazon, and Apple will be designed to stifle the next Jeff Bezos, not empower him.
- Now in order to impersonate you on the web, somebody only has to steal one password instead of a bunch of them!
- Say you wound up the target of some Hollywood-grade government conspiracy overnight. Tomorrow morning, they could suspend your driver's license, but that wouldn't stop you from driving to Canada. This plan, however, would theoretically allow them to suspend your internet license instantly, throwing you off the Information Superhighway by deploying the digital stop sticks at the touch of a button.
- For the eschatologically-inclined, there'll be no buying and selling on the internet without this number...
The internet has been a goose that has been laying economic golden eggs for an amazing amount of time, considering the continual ham-handed efforts of the government to try and serve itself up some foie gras. Let's hope it can shrug off this one.