Motorola Introduces Password Pill That is Terrifyingly Orwellian

The most annoying part of the internet is probably the fact that you have to memorize close to a dozen passwords to get to all your bank accounts and credit cards and social media profiles. And if you're lazy and just use one, then it's the worry that if one of those accounts gets hacked, it could easily be all of them.

Motorola thinks it has a solution to the password problem. At Wall Street's annual digital technology conference D11, Motorola announced their plans to create a pill that would serve as a password for all your accounts. What does that mean? You would provide Motorola with your password information and they would create a custom pill that had a tiny electronic chip inside it. That chip would basically turn your entire body into an authentication device, and you would theoretically never have to remember another password in your life. Naturally, the pill would pass through your body in about 24 hours, so you would have to take the pill on a daily basis. 

Is it just me or does this seem like a ridiculous solution to a small annoyance?

Yes, passwords are obnoxious and I always forget them and am constantly filling out those password reset forms, but none of those things could convince me to start taking a daily pill.

And there are so many obvious flaws in this solution.

First, putting an electronic pill that emits a signal into your body (presumably every day for the rest of your life) just does not seem healthy. Considering that studies are finding potential links between cell phones and cancer, I would be pretty concerned about putting an electronic chip into my body for essentially permanent purposes.

Second, this system seems to be sacrificing some measure of security for simplicity. It might be easier to have your accounts just identify you by your body emitting a signal, but your password information isn't nonexistent, it's just now in a database with Motorola. And as we all know, big companies aren't impervious to hacking. So if someone manages to get into this hypothetical database, it would basically be like hitting a gold mine of identity information. 

Third, if this was your only method of password authentication, not taking a pill in the morning would mean that there would be no way to access your information without returning home. It's turning what is a digital and theoretical concept into a physical object, which is the opposite of what the Internet is about. And that's not to mention that if someone managed to steal these pills, they could steal your identity with absolutely no problem. You wouldn't need to be an advanced computer hacker to steal someone's identity, just an average thief.

Some are also concerned that such a pill could be used to track people and their activities.

Passwords may be annoying, but so are a million other necessary little things you have to do to get by in life. We don't need a pill for everything.

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Medha Chandorkar

As a junior at Georgetown University in Washington DC, I'm studying Government, Women's and Gender Studies, and Justice and Peace Studies. I'm interested in social justice issues, particularly women's rights in the developing world, and politics. Outside of school, I love dancing and reading, and I'm a huge TV / movie buff. In the future, I hope to become a lawyer but right now, I'm just focused on the moment.

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