There’s a better way to do device authorizations

So I was in the middle of trying to set up an account with Borders from the Next2, and I realized that we're doing it wrong. I know that ebookstores want to copy Amazon and have their device be independent of a computer, but I think they need to reconsider how they handle the process. There's a better way.

It is much easier to set up an account from a computer than it is from an ereader. I think it's time to stop encouraging people to do this the hard way and instead find the fastest way to add an ereader to an account. For example, consider how Netflix handles their customer service phone calls. I think their authentication process is worth adapting.

When you call Netflix, you have 2 options to verify your identity. You can wait on the line and then give details to the CS rep or you can go to your account page on the Netflix website and request a one time ID number. Type the number into the phone, and the phone call will be associated with the correct account.

That ID number that Netflix uses is 6 characters long. In comparison, my email is 24 characters long and it requires using both keyboards on an Android tablet. I would much rather sit next to my computer and type in the code than be elsewhere and type in my whole email address.

BTW, the email+password set up is so heavily used that it's not secure anymore. Far too many people use the same email+password for all the websites they visit (it's too much work to do otherwise). Any security you think the email+password gives a system is merely a figment of your imagination. And then there's the fact that browsers now routinely save passwords for you, which renders the whole concept of security non existant.

Also, I use several different email accounts for the various ebookstore. I usually can't remember which email goes with which ebookstore without checking the account first! This further defeats any degree of security that email+password might provide.

P.S. The system used by Netflix is called an one time key. It's not the  only option, but it is an improvement over the current system.

About Nate Hoffelder (11474 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on There’s a better way to do device authorizations

  1. Even better: Once you register at frikkin ADOBE, the damn BOOKSTORE should query Adobe and make it all automagic. Just like we have Sign In With Twitter for things.

  2. How about this. Since you already have the Borders app installed on your computer with your information in it. You plug your device into the USB port on your computer. The Borders app authorizes the device. You don’t do anything.

    That is how the Sony’s work.

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