Written by Nick Heer.

On the Internet, Nobody Knows You are You

Manton Reece:

I continue to think that my devices are now too secure. Face ID shouldn’t freak out multiple times a day, requiring a pin. Safari shouldn’t scrap cookies every week, requiring needless extra web sign-ins. Any security beyond unlocking my Mac is usually unnecessary friction.

I agree with Reece’s diagnosis of the problem, but not its cause. If someone is logged into a user account on a Mac, everything in the keychain is probably unlocked and available to them as well. And if they have text message forwarding enabled on their iPhone, an SMS-based two-factor code will appear in Message. Despite what is basically security theatre, I need to reauthenticate several times weekly on websites and in applications I use all the time. I have to sign into this website — you know, the one I solely write and administer — probably once a week for each device I use.

I get why some of these measures are in place, particularly as tracking cookies are concerned. But I wish there were a way to simply tell my computer that I — me, Nick Heer — am sitting in front of it and have all the doors opened and locks unlocked without further inquiry.