Twitter’s Digits: Password Less Signing In

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Twitter is launching something that just might become revolutionary. It seems that the social media giant is now releasing a way for people to sign into their apps without having to use any of their passwords. This system is called Digits.

Application developers who have been trying to work out a password free method of logging into different cell phone apps can now rejoice. The move isn’t surprising considering Twitter’s game in the development world, bootstrap for instance, may have nothing to do with social media but is a huge hit with the developers.

A New Era

The news about Digits was first released at the first ever develop conference launched by Twitter called Flight. Flight was interesting because it helped Twitter bring to the fore several different kinds of tools that are meant for developers working with applications. Digitals could mean a lot in terms of cell phone and computer safety and security. With so many different security related issues cropping up every day, we can’t help but wonder if the passwords are to blame – but what if the passwords were removed from the equation all together? That is what Digits aims to do.

Messaging Apps

Digits comes at a time where messaging apps are gaining real momentum. It wasn’t a coincidence that Facebook ended up buying Whatsapp at such a high price, and that Snapchat has become as high profile as it is. We are looking at a time where messaging apps and the concept of anonymous interaction is picking up speed.

An increasing number of people will use their phones to interact with, and sign up for services, instead of using a login or username. This helps add another safety blanket for the user. And Twitter accurately notes that while many people may not have access to an actual online account, almost everyone has a cell phone.

The Process

Instead of a username and password most people will offer up their cell phone number to sign up for a particular service. Their login credentials are authenticated once they send back a confirmation code that was sent to their device. Where does Digits come in? It helps take over the process of verification from the developer’s end. The process involves two steps i.e. a user signs up for a service, and then sends back the confirmation code. So the user can actually avoid having their passwords or any other information compromised, with the exception of their phone number.

Digits does not post on the user or developers behalf. They can tweak it to their own requirements and get the job done. However, what this does is help users stay a little bit more safe. Over the years we’ve seen one case after another of people losing access to their accounts on secure platforms because of using the same passwords on websites that aren’t at all secure. With Digits this risk goes completely out the door. How can someone steal your password if you never offer it to begin with?


Image credit: Alexander

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