Note: This was originally written as a letter to the editor of a newspaper; I don’t recall which. Saving here for posterity.
In all of the stories discussing the Intel Pentium III ID feature, one glaring ommission has been made about why this chip will fail miserably: the assumption that one computer equals one user.
The chip’s ID is meant to identify and tie a particular person to a particular computer. Yet there are dozens of situations when someone might access data from different computers, or several people might use one computer. Three ready examples include households that share a single computer amongst husband, wife and kids; school labs where there are dozens, if not hundreds of students per computer; and companies with “hoteling” or shared-cubicle policies, where employees do not have their own offices or computers, but “rent” space and equipment.
How does the Pentium III ensure and provide for a “unique” user under these rather mundane scenarios? It doesn’t.
Intel would have the public belief their new chip provides increased security. In reality, the Pentium III is proof that Intel is desperate to add the semblance of life to a dying chip, and that it is much better at marketing to a customer’s fears than a customer’s needs.