By now you have probably read that Gawker Media’s password database was hacked and over 1 million usernames and passwords spilled out on to the web. It’s a serious problem because most people don’t have unique passwords for websites they register for, which not only exposes the futility of passwords but also makes a serious case for an identity and authentication system like Facebook Connect.
However, did you ever wonder why media sites force you to register in order to comment? They want your email address and identity information for driving marketing and promotions as well as enabling data services businesses. They provide no real utility in exchange for getting you to hand over a piece of personal information… unless you consider their email products useful.
So how about this for a solution to the problem of media sites and data security… instead of requiring me to register in order to post a comment how about just letting me post a comment? When you consider the damage to Gawker’s brand and the fact that they have just deep six’ed their entire user information database, one has to wonder if they really believe that all those usernames and passwords they accumulated were worth the trouble.