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Twitter declares war on passwords

San Francisco: Twitter formally declared war on passwords during a developers' conference in San Francisco, unveiling a new system that allows users to log-in to mobile apps with a phone number.

Jeff Seibert, director for mobile platforms at the popular social network, Wednesday introduced Digits, a free tool Twitter offers in 28 languages and 216 countries.

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With Digits, which is not part of Twitter, the user types in the phone number and receives a one-time confirmation number via text.

Seibert is convinced that the system is better than the combination of e-mail address and password, which, he said, is easy to forget, often difficult to key in on mobile phones, and exposed to identity theft.

Developers attending the conference, like Derek Hearn, a young techie from Chicago, welcomed Twitter's tool.

"Digits piqued my curiosity," Hearn, who works for MeetBall, a company sharing the willing users' location on mobile devices, told Efe news agency.

Cameron Hendrix, a mobile-apps developer for a digital education firm in New York, described Digits as "more secure" than the current password-based system.

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