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Upek And Pay By Touch Team On Biometric Authentication

The fingerprint scanner and service will authorize access to all the systems and apps a user needs.
Biometrics has long seemed like a logical way to get consolidated security, in which a person authenticates once to access a variety of systems. But the technology hasn't caught on, and the reality is users saddled with multiple passwords, smart cards, and tokens to access PCs, apps, and Web services. That could change now that biometric device maker Upek has teamed with Pay By Touch, a provider of biometric authorization and payment processing technology, to launch a service in which a fingerprint authorizes access to all of a person's systems.

Pay By Touch's TrueMe debuts this week for users of Upek's fingerprint scanners, which come in Lenovo laptops or as USB-pluggable peripherals. TrueMe is the first Pay By Touch service available to Internet use. Salesforce .com also plans to make it available through its AppExchange, the service through which its customers can access other Web-based apps.

The biometric system captures fingerprint information at the computer, where it's encrypted without being exposed to the operating system or the network. That's good news for the memory challenged, and bad news for anyone who likes a key chain full of security tokens.