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How many times a day are you asked to verify your identity? This number is growing as more and more businesses, programs and organizations want to verify that you are the real you. For most of us, logging in and authenticating has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, whether it’s accessing our banking information, email or social media accounts. They may even send us a code or ask us to select photos to verify that we are human. And actor John O’Hurley says that’s what drove him crazy. “I’m not a robot,” O’Hurley jokes. “That will be the title of my memoir when I write it all.”
O’Hurley is best known as the host of the annual National Dog Show and as eccentric catalog magnate J. Peterman in the series “Seinfeld”. But he’s also an entrepreneur, and his latest venture is a partnership with a new company that aims to make authentication easier and more secure using biometrics — things like fingerprints, voice authentication, and face scans. Q5ID has an easy-to-use mobile app that allows users to register and authenticate securely, no matter where they are, complete with step-by-step instructions, often in three minutes or less.
O’Hurley says he was inspired to work with Q5ID after seeing the damage that unverified users could cause. “When I saw ‘deepfake’ the other night, I immediately said that it would be nothing for the CEO, that someone faked the CEO, made some statement about the financial capabilities of the company, and the stock fell,” he explains. “Well, you wouldn’t be able to reconstruct it by saying, ‘Well, it was the wrong person.’ It was a fake.”
And since bots now beat most authentication apps, the Q5ID app will use your phone to scan your face or palm, storing the data on your own device. At the same time, it proves to your bank, social media platform, or any other company that it’s really you. And it’s not just for business; better authentication can help schools, law enforcement and government agencies reduce digital fraud, which costs Americans tens of billions of dollars each year.
The company also offers an app called “Guardian”, which aims to reinvent and revolutionize the way we find missing people. It’s a free download that allows subscribers to add their loved ones’ profiles should the worst happen, giving them the ability to notify law enforcement immediately.
After all, most experts predict that our use of biometrics will increase significantly in the next few years. It’s unclear if — and when — it will replace the clunky two-factor authentication that’s now widely used, but biometric applications are expected to be a $185 billion industry by 2031. O’Hurley attributes the boom to ease of use, saying it’s a hit with consumers “because it’s technically the last time you’ll need a password or a username. Because you’re you.”