Forget Me Not: The Future of Passwords

Privacy in the digital age has been a hot-button topic for some time now, and as we touched upon in last week’s look at the Rise of Paranoia Apps, fear and paranoia seems to have reached a fever pitch through technology. The recent NSA scandal has Millennials, along with all consumers, reflecting on digital privacy and protection. The generation known for sharing everything cares more about privacy than previously assumed. They may not be able to stop government eavesdropping, but we already know that many Millennials are incredibly savvy about protecting their privacy online from parents, teachers and employers. As concerns about privacy grow, we can expect that they will develop and find more intense ways to keep outsiders out of their digital content. We can also expect that privacy concerns will increasingly be focused on their mobile devices, as they rely on them more, and as a rising amount of their personal data is stored on smartphones and tablets. Not surprisingly, in this culture of fear and digital protection obsession, we have noticed a fascination with new and futuristic-sounding concepts for password protection. It could be that very soon finger swipes and four digit pass-codes will be considered antiquated ways of protecting the wealth of data in your phone. In fact, passwords are so troubling to consumers (too many to remember, annoying rules to keep track of) that the future of passwords may be not having passwords at all. Here are a few of the ways password/authentication technology could be amped up in the near future.
 

1. Expression Unlock: Google’s facial recognition technology Face Unlock was initially praised and then criticized upon release for its ability to be too easily hacked with a photo of the person. But advances in the technology are already on the…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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