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Ford KeyFree Lightens Password Log-on Load

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On: Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 5:11PM | By: Chris Salamone

Ford KeyFree Lightens Password Log-on Load

The rumor mill is turning once more, spinning a sci-fi thriller which might affect the very fabric of our everyday lives. Ford’s KeyFree technology, commonly known for automatic door locking/unlocking and – everyone’s favorite gimmick – push-to-start ignitions, has popped up on a French Vimeo site with an altogether new software update.

So far, all we know is that a new version of Ford’s KeyFree system is coming soon. And this time, multiple password storage and automatic log-on will be the name of the game.

Users of the Ford KeyFree app will be able to save usernames and passwords for social media, email, internet shopping, and the like. Upon entering a device’s Bluetooth range, connected computers will automatically log on to each individual account.

No one on Earth enjoys typing in dozens of names and passwords with each passing day. And fortunately for all of us, based on Ford’s promo video, it seems like the endless repetition is over. KeyFree looks fast, functional, and fun – three traits which rarely run jointly under the Ford brand.

That doesn’t mean, however, that all our prayers have been answered. Unless Ford has an ace of its theoretically-human sleeve, password security might be future problem for KeyFree. Bluetooth is a traditionally easy technology to connect to – a fact which hackers also appreciate. Storing personal information on an openly scanning Bluetooth device might be asking for trouble.

Perhaps the technological wizards at Ford have a solution which is more elegant than, say, layer upon layer of usernames and passwords. But we wouldn’t be surprised if App users had to log in to KeyFree before logging in broadly across the interweb.

Of course, that’s also a bit scary. Even if a would-be identity thief couldn’t hack your Bluetooth, stealing a cell phone and visiting internet cafes just became a lot more enticing.

Security risks aside, if Ford’s KeyFree system works anywhere near as well as the video suggests, the company has at least one future customer for non-essential accounts – which says a lot for the company’s advertising wing. They’ve managed to recruit a non-Ford driving smart phone owner to download a Ford app.

While the idea of a Bluetooth connected ID app isn’t new, tracing roots back to 2007, Ford will be the first company to use the technology on a mass public scale. And, for those of us still caught up on the sci-fi thriller concept, we’re one step closer to the old computer-chip-in-the-brain song and dance.



dwalter | 5:17PM (Thu, Jun 21, 2012)

Seems like the app works as a Google Chrome extension that stores passwords for Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Seems pretty safe. Just keeps annoying friends and siblings from posting something embarrassing while you're away. I may use it myself.

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