You’ve surely come across it—the “connect using Facebook” option on a variety of websites these days—but is it safe?
Nearly half a million of Formspring’s hashed passwords were compromised this month. As The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger observed, Formspring CEO Alde Olonoh recommended that users login through Facebook Connect for a secure connection.
According to Hamburger, “Implementing Facebook Connect (also known as Facebook Login) is kind of like hiring a security detail for each of your users, and getting this service for free.” Facebook has been recognized for its security features, from proactively monitoring user credentials for compromise to partnering with anti-virus companies. In fact, Facebook has an entire team dedicated to developing and implementing the site’s security features. Through these security systems, partnerships and the site’s reputation, Facebook has fostered one of the most popular universal authentication systems available.
Facebook Connect allows websites and online businesses to provide users with a more secure login option than may otherwise be possible. For consumers, the feature allows users to eliminate the number of passwords they have to remember and more easily change their credentials in the instance of a breach.
On the other hand, there are concerns surrounding Facebook’s universal presence and new technologies. For instance, if a consumer logs into a site using Facebook connect, and that site is breached, what does this mean for their Facebook account? Furthermore, consumers are wary of their privacy rights—Facebook is able to collect an astounding amount if personal information about each user, including facial recognition, which has drawn criticism from the U.S. Senate.
What do you think about Facebook Connect as a universal authentication system? Do you trust it and find it valuable, or are you wary and have concerns? As always, let us know via comments, Twitter or Facebook.