OwnID raises $6M to replace passwords with smartphone-based biometrics

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
The founders of OwnID, Dor Shany and Rooly Eliezerov, previously founded Gigya, a startup that wanted to make it easier to help identify customers. They sold that startup to SAP for $350 million in 2017, but the idea of making it easy to log into websites without friction was always in the back of their minds, and they launched OwnID last year to help solve that particular problem.

Shany explained that the founding team understood identity from their time at Gigya, and they wanted to create a company to make it as simple as possible to authenticate from a user perspective. Anyone who has forgotten a password knows how maddening this process can be.

Their idea was to move the process to your phone and take advantage of the phone's built-in authentication system. "The phone is actually a two-factor authentication on its own because it's something you have and biometric authentication. The essence is that you go to a website, you enter your email address, you click 'skip password' and log into your phone with your biometric (face or finger) ID." That's it.

If you have ever tried to log into a streaming service like Netflix on your television, you know it can be a frustrating experience, and in cases like this, OwnID presents you with a QR code on screen, and you use your phone to scan the code, then log into your phone.


I use fingerprint biometrics to log into my cell phone. At least in theory. Most of the time I end up using a pin number because the phone's biometrics don't recognize my finger. I guess that would prove a blessing if a criminal ever forces me at gunpoint to unlock my phone so they can transfer money from my bank accounts into theirs... unless they thought I was purposefully not cooperating and I ended up carrying lead.

I fairly frequently attempt to rescan my fingers so it'll work better. Sometimes I'll get a message that says that the finger I'm trying to scan is already in the database... then I wonder why it refuses to recognize that finger when I'm trying to unlock my phone. Other times it allows me to rescan a finger that is already in the database because it doesn't recognize it... Whenever I rescan or scan a finger into the biometrics on the phone I then have to login in to all my accounts that were set for biometrics with a password that then re-enable biometric authentication. At this stage of biometric authentication, it can be a pain. Same with my laptops. Every once in a while I have to rescan my fingers into the system... but most of the time I'm resigned to use a pin number.

Armor of Light

Praising my Savior all the day long!
Sounds like a hassle, I would not like it. Our Credit union installed a bio fingerprint authorization on the entryway door into the lobby, been 2 years and it still does not work right. Now they see you in the entryway and press a button to let you in if the finger security does not operate correctly.


Well-Known Member
While both are secure authentication methods, the difference lies in how secure. Biometrics are unique biological characteristics which are unique to every person. Facial recognition is the most recent biometric addition which proved to be fairly non-intrusive compared to other biometric systems and more secure. But like every system has its flaws, biometrics has its shortcoming too and they also face security compromises.
Unlike passwords, biological characteristics cannot be changed once compromised. Strong Passwords (passwords with 16 or more characters consisiting of numbers uppper and lower case letter and symbols) are random and strong enough to thwart a brute and passwords can be changed any number of times and depending on the algorithm used, they can be pretty much secure.