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Gumtree pilots password-free software

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The digital world is buzzing off the back of last night’s Facebook F8, where amongst other things the announcement of the launch of Account Kit, new software powered by Facebook that allows end users to sign into apps with just a phone number and no password, was made.
Facebook product manager Eddie O’Neil told VentureBeat that “people hate passwords” and the removal of that barrier to enter an app will increase sign-ups and expand audience.
Gumtree South Africa was the first South African app to test Account Kit and among the first 20 in the world to do so and received a special mention at the annual conference.
Johan Nel, country manager for Gumtree SA, says that their California-based dev team has been working hard with Facebook to bring this service on stream. “We put great emphasis on simplifying trading on and we believe this new technology will do just that.”
He adds that Gumtree “was excited and honoured to play a pioneering role with Facebook in this process”.
The software is built into the app which then gives users the option of logging in via Facebook or with a phone number. Clicking on the phone number option prompts an SMS with a code which gives the user access without a Facebook account or a password.
Facebook expects the username/password sign-up option to remain the prime route into apps but believes Account Kit will prove extremely popular.
Indian music streaming service Saavn is already demonstrating the role Account Kit can play with a growth in app sign-ups of more than half a million since introducing the feature only two months ago.

  • Sillie Abbe

    However nicely designed and implemented, physical tokens, cards and phones are easily left behind, lost, stolen and abused. Then the remembered password would be the last resort.

    And, in a world where we live without remembered passwords, say, where our identity is established without our volitional participation, we would be able to have a safe sleep only when we are alone in a firmly locked room. It would be a Utopia for criminals but a Dystopia for most of us.

    Incidentally, biometrics are dependent on passwords in the cyber space. So are multi-factor authentications and ID federations like password-managers and single-sign-on services. Passwords will stay with us for long.

    It is too obvious, anyway, that the conventional alphanumeric password alone can no longer suffice and we urgently need a successor to it, which should be found from among the broader family of the passwords (= what we know and nobody else knows).