This Austin startup just introduced "The New Internet" to fight fake accounts

Kelly Jackson

A gang of cyber security pros has launched what they're calling “The New Internet” to a closed beta user group, introducing a new wrinkle to the online world that leaves no room for fake accounts.

Called Authenticated Reality, the Austin startup provides an authentication platform that verifies users in real time within a browser before they can actively use the web. Members of The New Internet community can then screen for real-person reviews, comments, social media profiles and ratings as they browse the “old internet.”

“It is an authenticated layer on top of the internet,” Chris Ciabarra, co-founder and CTO of Authenticated Reality. “It allows users to connect and be real. That means you actually authenticate yourself so everyone knows who you are.” 

Instead of anonymizer tools that help users hide their identities, Authenticated Reality does the exact opposite by using driver’s licenses, email, social media accounts, in-app purchases and biometric elements like facial recognition to ensure a user is “real.” 

“We’re making every single user on this secure user viewable,” said Ciabarra.

While authenticating users will have an impact on companies and online businesses that will be protected from fake accounts, Ciabarra said Authenticated Reality’s platform is preventative of hacker attacks and cyberbullying as well. 

“Everyone is authenticated, so there’s no longer the problem of hacking,” said Ciabarra. “Basically, we’re getting rid of all the bad. Hacking, fraud, you name it, that’s our goal. We want to make the internet great again.”

In the closed beta, features of The New Internet include authenticated comments and ratings on every page of the old internet, email authentication so you can see any fraudulent emails in your inbox, and website authentication which gives users the chance to validate the legitimacy of a site. 

Ciabarra, who also invented and co-founded Revel Systems — now a $500 million iPad point-of-sale solution — is working with CEO Darin Andersen, co-founder and Chief Social Officer Jessica Strickland, and Lance Cottrel, who serves as an advisor. 

Authenticated Reality has 12 employees total in Austin and a sister office in San Diego. Ciabarra says they plan on hiring 100 people over the next two years.


Image via Authenticated Reality.

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