The Bloomberg Law Biometric Doohickey

Last November, I published my review of Bloomberg Law, the recently launched legal research service from business news giant Bloomberg. One aspect of the service I did not mention in my review is the odd piece of hardware required to log-in. Whereas other legal research services rely on usernames and passwords, Bloomberg Law requires you to log-in using something it calls the B-Unit, a credit-card sized, biometric fingerprint reader that ensures that you and only you log-in to your Bloomberg Law account.

You can use it to log-in from anywhere you have Web access. After you enter your usual username and password, a screen prompts you for the B-Unit. Turn it on and its asks you to “present finger.” Assuming it recognizes you, an small LCD display says, “ID valid.” You then hold the B-Unit in front of your computer screen. After a few moments, a four-digit verification code appears in its LCD screen. Enter that in the space provided on the log-in screen, and you are good to go.

Below are some pictures. And, by the way, I’m pretty sure “doohickey” is the correct technical term.

From Blog Pictures

From Blog Pictures

From Blog Pictures
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  • Ron Friedmann

    I believe the correct technical term is closer to "dongle". Not sure this fits exactly, but see Same idea as original dongle when it comes down to it.

  • JNFerree

    Any idea what the rent is on this or is it an subscription model?