Security


The Friction of Security

23rd August 2022

Manton Reece:

I continue to think that my devices are now too secure. Face ID shouldn’t freak out multiple times a day, requiring a pin. Safari shouldn’t scrap cookies every week, requiring needless extra web sign-ins. Any security beyond unlocking my Mac is usually unnecessary friction.

I have to agree. While there are obvious benefits to security, the balance between being useful and just getting in the way, and adding more friction some times can feel a little off. Especially when you typically have to use some form of biometric authentication to even access a device.

Nick Heer:

I get why some of these measures are in place, particularly as tracking cookies are concerned. But I wish there were a way to simply tell my computer that I — me, Nick Heer — am sitting in front of it and have all the doors opened and locks unlocked without further inquiry.

A lot of friction would certainly be removed if that was possible.

I’m assuming that passkeys will help this issue in the future. But I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly complex problem to solve with what’s available right now. What annoys me the most is when websites suddenly forget who you are, even though you clicked “Remember me”, and the website surely storing a cookie on your device. It doesn’t seem wild to me, to have these cookies last just a bit longer?