Re: Next steps for accessible authentication

Gregg thank you for bringing this up 

An important thing to remember is that cognitive disabilities are often localized. Some part of the brain function is impaired but other functions are not impaired (sometimes they may even be stronger to compensate).

This is really important because people may think that people who can not copy four digits are not likely to be in a professional environment.
Copying requires a few different brain functions (such as a visual or auditory short term or working memory)  that might not be required  to be successful in a profession but is required to login.

(The same is true for a lot of coga requirements.) 
As an extra note I have been giving personal examples in these threads not because we are relying on personal experiences in drafting the proposals but because people know me, and even if they do not always agree with me, I think we all agree I should be in the target audience for most internet applications.  

All the best

Lisa Seeman

LinkedIn, Twitter

---- On Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:57:52 +0300 Gregg C Vanderheiden<> wrote ---- 

Sorry I wasn’t asking if people with cognitive disabilities had been asked.  — I was asking 

Were people with cognitive disabilities     that are severe enough that they cannot copy information,    tested with each of these techniques and were they able to do each of them.   

If not then they are not alternatives for them.

If people can copy information then they don’t need these 

This is a pretty severe cognitive disability — and it looked to me - from my work with people with cognitive disabilities,  like anyone who was unable to copy information would be unable to do many or all of these.     I am delighted to be proven wrong.    Has someone demonstrated that these are doable by the group this is targeted to?  (people who cannot even copy information) 



Gregg C Vanderheiden

On Jun 19, 2017, at 2:56 PM, lisa.seeman <> wrote:

Hi Gregg

Yes, they have been reviewed by security experts and people with cognitive disabilities.

We are also reaching out to the web authentication group to see if they have any issue wit the current draft

All the best

Lisa Seeman

LinkedIn, Twitter

---- On Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:23:18 +0300 Gregg C Vanderheiden<> wrote ---- 

+1 to Jason’s concern about security of these.  Have they been vetted by a security specialist? 

Also — are these supposed to be easier than copying something ? 

All of these appear to be cognitively much more complicated than copying information from one place into the field.   As such - is this something where the solution requires more cognitive skills than the problem? 

Has anyone demonstrated that someone who cannot copy information — can do any/all of these?     That these are indeed simpler? 

If not - then is there any grounds for assuming that any of these will reduce the cognitive demands on a person…..

These all sound complicated to me….


Gregg C Vanderheiden

On Jun 19, 2017, at 1:48 PM, White, Jason J <> wrote:

From: lisa.seeman [] 
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2017 1:30 PM

We are allowing multiple alternatives, such as:

 two step authentication that has a link to press as an alternative to entering a code
[Jason] What are the security implications, if any? The server comprising the destination of the link could be attacked (e.g., by trying different values for the data carried in the link in succession).
 two step authentication using devices that sends a tokens via Bluetooth
[Jason] These are promising as an idea, but without standardization, the user may end up having to use several different devices with different Web sites – not a desirable outcome. I think these could only be required in WCAG when the standards are in place.
 Email resetting is an option for most places,  including google if people have an alternative address
[Jason] This isn’t suitable for high security applications, since anyone who gains access to the e-mail account can compromise the security of the system.
login in via something like facbook
[Jason] This involves trusting/relying on a third party to perform the authentication. If I remember correctly, this is known to have serious security shortcomings.
conformance to the web authentification specification at

[Jason] This is the most promising of your alternatives. Will it be practically available by the time WCAG 2.1 enters Candidate Recommendation?
In short, I think most of the options are at least suspect from a security point of view.

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Received on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 03:51:37 UTC