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[Extract] Is it becoming more and more difficult for you to keep track of numerous PIN numbers and passwords? Most people would answer a resounding "Yes!" to this question. Recent advances in the way we use technology, such as electronic commerce, depend on a user proving they are who they purport to be. This is known as the (identity) authentication problem.
Current digital signature technology includes the ability to authenticate a user. It is based on a system of double encoding using public and private keys. But like PINs and passwords, it is not infallible. Nor is it ideally suited to some situations such as withdrawals from an ATM. The ultimate goal is a system that is quick, inexpensive, 100% reliable and as unobtrusive as possible.