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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I follow the news because it’s there and I can't avoid it.”—Female, 28, ME

Nike has taken the gold in Olympic ad engagement with a focus on authenticity. The brand’s 2016 Rio Olympic Games campaign “stepped beyond” “Just Do It” with a series of spots showing average people pushing themselves beyond their limits. The response to the approach has been overwhelmingly positive–viewers of one ad featuring a mountain climber born without arms and legs called it their “new favorite Nike video.” The campaign exceeded “any other brand in engagement rates,” earning 6.7 million shares and 6.5 million likes and favorites since March. (MediaPost

Facebook is taking a new swipe at Snapchat with a new camera-first app for teens only. Lifestage, created by a 19-year-old former Facebook intern, reimagines the original Facebook experience for teens today with profile pages filled with video clips and filters. Currently, the app’s network is limited to high school and undergrad students—users over the age of 21 can only see their own profiles. However, teens can see the profiles of all other users, “inside and outside” their schools, which could make privacy a concern. Facebook’s previous standalone apps have not found much success, leading the site to shut down their Creative Labs division last year. (The Daily Dot,BuzzFeed)

Unable to compete with social media, The New York Times is putting an end to its Millennial news app. NYT Now was launched in 2014 in an effort to lure in young readers with conversational content at a discounted price. After failing to attract new users, the app dropped its paywall for a freemium model that let users read up to 10 free articles a month. The updated strategy still did little to bring in a younger audience, averaging 257,000 unique users in the past three months. (Business Insider

College students are increasingly taking their athletic talents off the field. At many colleges, you don’t need to play traditional sports like football, track, or lacrosse to be a star athlete—instead, students are opting for sports that require “little prerequisite talent and less on-field aggression,” like ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, fishing, and wood-chopping tournaments. Many of these alt-sport players discover the new competitive activities because they don’t fit the strict requirements to join other sports teams, and say inclusive team spirit and lack of competitive strife between opponents are major draws. (The Wall Street Journal

Most beauty brands are trying to draw in younger consumers, and Estée Lauder has strategic plans to keep Millennials happy. The brand’s recent profit boost was mostly generated by “color cosmetics brands like Estée Lauder, SmashboxMAC and Clinique,” but prestige fragrance and skin care continue to suffer. They plan to revive the segment by focusing on “selfie culture,” and count on the social media strategy that has fueled their makeup success to work on “instant-gratification” products like face masks and moisturizers. Partnerships with digital influencers, including those with lower but highly engaged followings, are also in the plans. (Fashionista)

Quote of the Day: “I like yoga because It can be used for the body, mind, breath, and soul if desired. I can do it alone or with other people. It can also be as short or long as I want.”—Female, 27, AR

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