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Last updateFri, 07 Oct 2022 1pm

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Password punishment

While watching the news one night I heard one of the commentators use a phrase so profound I had to jump up from where I was sitting to quickly find a pen and paper so I could write it down.

The topic of discussion was political, specifically how dealing with officialdom always seemed to be so difficult, and how bureaucrats are forever making up burdensome regulations.  The commentator called it an “ideology of punishment.” An example to which many people can relate is dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), where bureaucrats seem to take sadistic pleasure in making your dealing with them as unpleasant as possible.

What I have noted over the last few years is that this ideology of punishment has crept into the world of information technology, mostly when it comes to how careless users who forget their passwords are treated. Apple, Google, Microsoft, all the big tech companies, now seem to take the position that anyone who forgets a password is someone who should be punished.

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