The four major U.S. carriers recently formed the Mobile Authentication Taskforce, with the goal of creating a new authentication solution that can secure user accounts and be less dependent on passwords. The prototype service combines the carriers' proprietary, network-based authentication capabilities along with other methods to verify a user's identity. Once the user signs up and provides consent, the service will generate a device-based ID that services as the user profile in the authentication process.
The Mobile Authentication Taskforce explains that its effort, named Project Verify, can help protect consumers from attacks that try to gain login credentials and phone numbers for phishing and social engineering. It can also give businesses and consumers more protection against identity theft, bank fraud, fraudulent purchases, and data theft, the carriers claim.
You can watch a video about Project Verify at the top of this post.
Better security is always a good thing. As consumers increasingly use their mobile phones as their main computing devices that are used to store and access personal data, malicious parties will continue to try and get at that data. It's nice to see the four major carriers trying to tackle this problem and improve user security, but Project Verify is still in early days, so we'll have to wait and see what kind of traction it gets and how well it works before getting too excited for it.