It seems that the French government considers the whole “input your password” method of account security to be a little dated, instead advocating a system of ‘digital certificates’ for access to accounts.
Word of the change comes from TechRadar, which has it that the latest plan comes directly from France’s secretary of state, Nathalie Kosciosku-Morizet, whose brainchild the whole digital-certificate project is in the first place. It’s certainly an interesting prospect, and one that only gets more interesting the more you read about it, particularly its applications when it comes to official documentation. Indeed, it seems the certificate won’t be accessible to too many services.
For now, the trial-run of France’s digital certification program has featured the French Banking Federation, the Federation of French Insurers and La Poste, which should give some impression of the types of services the French see themselves ditching passwords on.
For now, there’s relatively little word on just how the new certification system would work, but the folks at TechRadar seem to think that it’s likely to be kept on a SIM-styled card or a USB stick. Once the device is mounted, then the certificate will be accessible.
Still, it seems as though the whole idea might prove to be significantly less secure for those who are capable of setting difficult-to-break passwords, especially given the relative ease with which the relevant USB-sticks or memory cards might be stolen, swapped or confused.
It’ll be interesting to see if we start to see lockets/bracelets/keyrings and other similar arrangements appear that can help keep people from losing their very-secure-altogether digital certificates 😉