Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Passwords and their Discontents

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

There are two really important points in this short article. The first revolves around the need to fix online authentication. Passwords are awful, but everything else that's been tried is worse. We will eventually get there, but it will require companies to allow users to own their own logins. They won't do this - they're like the monkey with its paw stick in the peanut jar, too greedy to open their fist and let their prize go. The second reflects our frustration over the whole state of affairs. "What I choose to do is irrelevant, because I'm at the mercy of the people who create the sites I use. And their practices can be shockingly bad." We see the same pattern everywhere: we (as consumers) know what would be good for society, or the environment, or whatever, but we can't choose it because the option is just not available in the marketplace.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jul 16, 2024 09:20 a.m.

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