September 14, 2016 -
Digital authentication startup UnifyID is seeking to eliminate the password system all together with a new technology that combines machine learning, behavioural biometrics, and continuous authentication, according to a report by Techcrunch.
UnifyID calls its approach ‘holistic implicit authentication’, which works to establish an understanding about who the user is, which devices they use, where they go, which sensors they interact with throughout the day, as well as the way they walk and how they type.
As users begin to create a reasonable profile, UnifyID’s software can compute a score that measures the likelihood that users are who they say they are.
The startup’s first product, which will be available in private beta this week at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, is a Chrome browser extension with an iOS mobile app. UnifyID will also be launching an Android app is the near future.
Once users install the browser extension and the mobile app, it begins to learn about them and their behavior.
When users visit a website, it will automatically log them in via their Unify ID — provided that the system is confident about the user’s identity — instead of asking them for a username and password.
If the system is not confident about the user’s identity, the system will send a challenge to their phone such as asking for their Touch ID.
UnifyID said it will not be collecting a lot of data on users, and instead, emphasizes that users have complete control of their data.
The data is encrypted and stored almost entirely on the local device, not the back-end cloud servers.
The startup, which has undisclosed seed round, is offering the initial product for free. However, it plans to sell the ability to embed this technology to companies.
Google has reportedly been developing a similar system for Android, while Microsoft, Facebook and Apple are all expected to build similar systems in the future.
“It is of course validating for us that other players recognize this opportunity. One of the biggest challenges of a small startup like ours is to educate the market to the future of authentication,” John Whaley, UnifyID co-founder. “That being said, I think the space is ripe for innovation and a new and cool enough technology can have a major impact.”