Did A Car Company Just Make The Best Password Manager We've Seen?

Imagine sitting down at your computer and having it recognise you and unlock all of your web accounts. No more logging in to anything. That's the promise of this new app by Ford. Yes, the car company.

Like other companies, Ford has been using NFC keys for a while. When you're close to your car, it unlocks. So easy. Now the company has created Ford Keyfree, a Chrome extension that does essentially the same thing for your passwords. Your "key" is your smartphone. When you're close to your car, your phone talks to the Chrome extension via Bluetooth and automatically enters all of your passwords. When you walk away, the extension logs you out. Brilliant.

Ford Keyfree is a slick, intelligent piece of work. It turns out Detroit CAN innovate. As you can see from the video above, it's obviously a marketing gimmick, and there are some practical security concerns. Isn't it kind of weird that all someone needs to get into my sensitive accounts is my phone? What's the proximity radius? Furthermore, since the app uses Bluetooth, it'll put a strain on your battery.

The app is only available in France right now. [Fast Company]



    Bluetooth proximity login stuff has been around for a while now. Very convenient. Until someone picks up your phone...

    "When you’re close to your car, your phone talks to the Chrome extension via Bluetooth"

    Your car has a Chrome extension? Your car runs Chrome in the first place?

    Fingerprint readers do that, don't they? I remember someone at work had one on his Lenovo and when it broke, he was stuffed because he couldn't actually remember any of his passwords.

    lastpass for me too, but it would be useful if LP had this (maybe it does?). I hope the bluetooth device holds the encryption key (using an encryption algorithm considered secure) to unlock the passwords, making it IMPOSSIBLE to crack without the bluetooth device short of cracking the encryption algoritm itself.

    Now I just need Lastpass to introduce this!!!

    so if someone has my phone , they can be me then..... should have a chip in a our arm so it stays with you.

      That will be available soon via Nokia with a tattoo (the article says after their patent application is successful). Another article they posted said it can be sprayed on if you don't like needles:

      Seriously, the real answer will be this. The tech already exists, and has been used for similar purposes for years.

      A password system on a phone? Yeah, WAY too many security risks (like losing the phone, or even forgetting it). A chip that you always carry with you? Aww yeah. Awesome.

        until they crack the encryption and you have to get another implant.

      And you sell your arm with the car?

        You could probably take it to a dealer and have it recoded.

    if the only install is a chrome extension and not an iPhone app. Then i assume its looking for your phones bluetooth mac address. Very easy to pickup and fake...

    Or you could spend the second it takes to enter your password....

    My computer already does this with face recognition. No imagining here.

      I hope your a bank manager, so I can stealth snap your photo with my iphone and use it to unlock your computer :) facial recognition is cool but I seen it smashed by someone using someones facebook photo

    Similar to what the volvo V40 is doing with iphones.

    I'm a high school teacher and my students use laptops in class everyday. I would hate to think what would happen if go into class having forgotten to turn my Bluetooth off... Good bye my personal life...

    what about a solid state device, with unique serrations on one side. Could keep it on a key ring in your pocket - with a long battery life.

      I would like to patent your idea. I believe this will take off in a big way.
      I will call it the "key".

    Wow. Good start to the second half, Detroit! Way to come out of half-time swinging!

    Because it's just too stressful and too hard to unlock your car...?

      It's not too stressful, but it's a god-damn convenience if you don't need to... I'm driving a Holden Cruze Sri-V, and never have to take keys out of my pocket. It helps when you're carrying stuff to your car as well.

        I drive a Cruze Sri-V too and have a keypad entry on my house, I now live in a keyless world, it's really cool just walking out not worrying about keys, though it does feel a little weird at first.

    I was particularly amused by this:
    "It turns out Detroit CAN innovate" together with "only available in France" ???

    DId they? No. No, they didn't...

    Ookay....so the next time an Apple Tech looses his Beta handset in a bar - they can take his car too!


Join the discussion!