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An Open Letter to Duo Security: Don’t You Forget About Me

Til we meet again, my sweet prince


Dearest Duo,

Every other day we know each other by touch alone. One gentle, lingering press of the fingerprint sensor and you open up and give me everything I’ve ever needed and more.  My email.  My Canvas dashboard.  My.Harvard.  

But it never lasts.  Sooner or later, you always make me verify my identity again, like some common stranger.  I still remember checking that box for the very first time. “Remember me for 30 days.”  I had to enable cookies to do it, but in the moment, it felt so worth it.  It feels like an eternity with you every time.  I get so comfortable, I feel as if I’ve known you my whole life, and always will.  But as John Green once said, some infinities are bigger than other infinities.  Suddenly you’re asking me to authenticate myself again, and our little infinity comes crashing down around me.

I won’t pretend there weren’t red flags and stop signs from the beginning, like when you made me select all the images containing stop signs to prove I wasn’t a robot.  I thought that was just the price I had to pay to Captcha your heart.  Maybe I should have realized things were getting out of hand the first time I opted for a call notification instead of a push, just so I could hear the sweet seductive music of your robotic voice asking me to press one.  Or maybe it was the second time, when I let that call go to voicemail so I could keep the message and listen to you each night as I fell asleep.

Oh, how I dream of being Joaquin Phoenix in Her, but instead you’ve cast me as Adam Sandler in 50 First Dates.  That stings.  Does our connection mean nothing to you? Is it always just a one-month stand to you? Still, every time I give in.  I give you that Duover you ask for, I check that box yet again.  I’ve accepted for so long that our relationship can never be anything more than one step forward, two-step verification back.  It hurts me, but I really need to check my email.

Well, I’ve had enough.  I’ll be logging in manually from now on.  Send me a push notification if you ever feel like you’re ready to make something real, something that lasts.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me every 30 days… I truly thought we were the perfect Duo.  Turns out I was only ever meant to be an Uno.

Until then,



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