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PayPal Pans Passwords at Event Co-Sponsored with Google

PayPal co-sponsored an event on online authentication – not product authentication with which merchants are familiar, but rather, the process by which websites authenticate users when they log in to their systems. It used the event to introduce the FIDO Alliance and its new authentication standards.

“Replacing Passwords: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” was co-sponsored by Google.

Participants on the panel included industry and government experts, including PayPal’s John Muller; Jeremy Grant, National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, NIST; Michael Kaiser, National Cyber Security Alliance; Brett McDowell, FIDO Alliance; Liz Votaw, Bank of America; and Amy Zirkle, Electronic Transactions Association.

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The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance was formed in July 2012 to address the lack of interoperability among strong authentication devices as well as the problems users face with creating and remembering multiple usernames and passwords.

The history of the alliance explains PayPal’s role in pushing for standards in stronger authentication, including the need to support hardware from more than one company.

Several years ago, PayPal had been pushing to become a commerce operating system encompassing online, mobile and offline retail and was working on an identity product called Commerce Identity.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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