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Security Transportation

Brain Scanning May Be Used In EU Security Checks 132

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the Guardian: "Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning after EU researchers successfully tested technology to verify identities for security checks. The experiments, which also examined the potential of heart rhythms to authenticate individuals, were conducted under an EU-funded inquiry into biometric systems that could be deployed at airports, borders and in sensitive locations to screen out terrorist suspects." The same article says that "The Home Office, meanwhile, has confirmed rapid expansion plans of automated facial recognition gates: 10 will be operating at major UK airports by August." I wonder what Bruce Schneier would have to say about such elaborate measures.
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Brain Scanning May Be Used In EU Security Checks

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  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:04AM (#27920643) Homepage

    Because we can (ab)use this technology to identify brain patterns of illegal behavior.
    The identification would be fool proof, but who cares when you can catch terrorists and pedophiles.

    • by MindKata ( 957167 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:20AM (#27920783) Journal
      "Because we can (ab)use this technology"

      They seem determined to abuse technology as far as it can go. They need to learn that just because we now have ever more technology to abuse peoples privacy, that doesn't mean that's the right thing to keep on doing ever more. For example, just because we have the technology to knock down everyone's door, drag the people out of the house and strip search them in the road, that doesn't mean that's what everyone wants them to do. If they are just allowed to keep abusing technology as far as it can go, then we are walking into a horrific world. This abuse has to stop.
      • Re:In Soviet America (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 ) <> on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:32AM (#27920953) Journal

        They seem determined to abuse technology as far as *the abuse* can go.

        Phrase: "Quantum of Terror"

        "Hmm. Our ID test runs on heartbeats, measured in a comfy lab with plush seats and chocolate mints. But we Don't Like This Guy.

        " 'Hey, you're a terrorist!!' "
        (Subject's heart races)
        "Oh look, he fails. He MUST be a terrorist! Wheee!"

        It's Schrodinger's Nightmare.

        • by chabotc ( 22496 )

          Maybe we should revert back the the old ways of throwing suspects in the water with a stone tied around their neck. If they float, they're guilty and will be burned, and if they sink.. well at least they are innocent right?

          Sure would cut down on the polluting business of air travel wouldn't it? :)

        • I only looked at the comments here for this. I likes a good tinfoil hat!

          while it's a bit screwy using brain scans, if they can eliminate false positives, it ain't so bad. We just need to make sure enough "good people" are descion makers in the new paradigm. We are all human.

          without wanting to sound like a bad 80s rapper or 60s tripper... peace.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            >>>it ain't so bad.

            "The right of the People to be secure in their persons...... unless a warrant has been issued by oath....." The government is violating your body by making intimate scans of your internal organs. You might as well tattoo numbers on your skin, because the offense against your property (your body) is as severe.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jvkjvk ( 102057 )

            First, we have not even been able to eliminate the false positives from facial recognition ! How in the world do you propose to eliminate false positives from a pattern set that is orders of magnitude less understood than optics? I mean really, patterns of consciousness vs. patterns of light reflection seems like quite a jump.


            We just need to make sure enough "good people" are descion makers in the new paradigm.

            The fact that you think this way scares me. Just re-read your own sentence a few times. Start thinking about Power and what types of people gravitate to power. Re-read your

            • by x2A ( 858210 )

              "isn't that the ultimate crux of the world today?"

              Most of us wanna live our lives doing what we wanna do. We wanna be programmers, teachers, doctors, artists, and running a country gets in the way of those things... so we leave it to other people to do, complain about how they do it, about how we would do things differently, but then still go back to our programming, teaching, etc, etc. Most of us want the world to be the way that we want it, but we're not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to put our

        • The way you wrote "as far as *the abuse* can go." made me think at first it was a quote of what I said, but I see I didn't say that. :)

          Anyway even though the people in power use their terrorist 'Wild Card' whenever they want to bring in yet more Big Brother moves, its not just about terrorists etc... For example, in the UK they had the IRA attacking for years and doing far more damage than any current terrorist, yet the UK lived happily without the need for the police state they are building now. Its not
    • by SpooForBrains ( 771537 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:22AM (#27920805)


      All these attempts at automated biometric identification just need to stop, now. None of it works. Facial / Iris recognition is far too unreliable to be used in any sort of serious context. Not even fingerprint recognition works reliably (or we'd all be bloody using it).

      They need to stop pouring money down this black hole right now.

      • by robably ( 1044462 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:02AM (#27921315) Journal

        None of it works. ... They need to stop pouring money down this black hole right now.

        They need to stop now not because it doesn't work, but because eventually it will get to the point where it does work.

        • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:37AM (#27921875)
          It works now, haven't you noticed?

          Since September 12, 2001, exactly zero passenger aircraft have flown into the World Trade Centre! That has to show that the system works!
          • Since September 12, 2001, exactly zero passenger aircraft have flown into the World Trade Centre! That has to show that the system works!

            Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

          • I hope you don't get modded troll or flamebait.

            You're right though. The system has worked. It has ever since the passengers of Flight 93 heard what happened to the other hijacked planes.

        • I don't think it will ever work reliably enough to serve its stated function.

          Of course, it works well enough to serve its actual function currently, if you believe that the actual function is to serve as a cover for maintaining a massive database of every person in the UK, to allow unprecedented state tracking and control over its citizens. Of course, only the excessively paranoid would believe such a thing.

      • Indeed. If they're going to go all police state on their citizens, they should just drop the pretense and start using required DNA registration upon entry to the country (or birth). Dump some funds into developing instantaneous DNA signature reading, and have done with it.

        That way they can stop wasting money on phrenology and similar pursuits, and start to really Catch Some Bad Guys.

        Orrrr... the people who live there can stand up and say that enough is enough. Personally I'd suggest the latter, but h

    • Reality called (Score:3, Informative)

      by the_raptor ( 652941 )

      We can't read thoughts. Our current equipment is far too crude to even identify specific neural pathways. All we can do is detect electrical activity or oxygen use in *regions* of the brain. At best they might be able to determine you are (possibly) anxious or fearful. So about as useful for reading thoughts as a polygraph (aka not useful at all).

      I doubt we will ever be able to read thoughts because of the difficult of isolating neural pathways, and the fact that thoughts aren't encoded in a way we even und

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by MadKeithV ( 102058 )
        Pah, I can tell from all the way over here that you are thinking about Natalie Portman.
    • What are the health risks of having one's brain scanned repeatedly? I understand it's not X-ray technology, I'm just wondering if there are risks.
      • What are the health risks of having one's brain scanned repeatedly?

        The biggest risk is that a trigger happy cop will decide the scan means you are a Brazilian electrician and shoot you.

    • The logical conclusion is to use this technology for mind reading. All you need is excellent resolution and a huge database which matches patterns to thoughts. If there are enough common pattern among different people's brain activity, voila you have a mind reading device.

      And since there are legitimate uses for this technology, first in prosthetics then probably a bunch of other thought controlled devices, we are likely going to have the necessary investment where the whole thing becomes viable.

      I can't
  • by bigdaisy ( 30400 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:04AM (#27920647)

    Do terrorists have distinctive brain patterns that would cause an alarm to go off?

    All this does is help to confirm that the passport holder is the person to whom the passport was issued. The 9/11 bombers would all have passed this test, as they were travelling on their own passports.

    • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:27AM (#27920883)

      And even if they hadn't, passports are hackable anyhow. They can change all that information on both the paper and the chip.

      Also, how much work is it to keep thousands of brain scanners all calibrated the same?

      And finally, what about false positives/negatives? Sure, fingerprints are 'unique', but we only sample a few points... It's actually possible to be wrong. Same with DNA, etc etc. Why is this any different? In fact, it's worse... Brains CHANGE over time.

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

        Fingerprints can be wrong, but it's unusual. Unfortunately, you don't really know just how unlikely it is. A decent DNA test today uses so many points of comparison that the error rate is tiny, and, perhaps more importantly, can be precisely quantified.

      • by dword ( 735428 )

        Also, how much work is it to keep thousands of brain scanners all calibrated the same?

        And how much does it cost? Over here (some country in the EU), running some old brain scanner in the hospital costs just over $300/scan.

        • your old brain scanner is probably an MRI, PET or SPECT scanner, which is a big and expensive machine. 1-2 million dollars. the scanner they probably use in this article will be a couple of orders of magnitude cheaper.
      • by guruevi ( 827432 )

        How much work: a lot. MRI (if that's what they're using) maintenance is expensive and intensive. Simply keeping up with all the stuff that needs to be around for cooling the systems is a lot of work not to mention the safety procedures. Just about any medical procedure they will perform for this requires a lot of work and is dangerous for the individual it's being performed on. A simple xray can kill somebody if something goes wrong (ask Edison). MRI machines have a lot of magnetic force so a simple pen can

    • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:33AM (#27920955)
      My greatest issue with this scheme isn't the invasion of privacy. It's that the people who recommend it aren't nearly as intelligent as the parent comment poster.

      I don't even think this is an invasion of my privacy. I do, however, realise that it's a money soak, a sham, another prop in the security theatre.

      Sometimes I wish I didn't realise it. Then I wouldn't feel so ashamed to be part of this nation.
    • The 9/11 bombers would all have passed this test, as they were travelling on their own passports.

      Yeah, but by using this brain scan thing-a-ma-jiggy, our leaders look like they're doing something about terrorism.

      Either that, or by waving around the "terrorism" word, they get to deploy better surveillance tech without enouct people complaining.

  • by Mendoksou ( 1480261 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:05AM (#27920655)
    Using this in conjunction with the new Google Brain search should make spotting nefarious terrorists, murderers, drug traffickers and torrenters easy. The program should be run by Alfred Bester.
  • No fly list (Score:4, Funny)

    by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:05AM (#27920657) Homepage

    This passenger has the sloping brow and cranial bumpage of a plane-jacking terrorist.

  • Video Games FTW! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:07AM (#27920671) Homepage Journal

    Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning

    Time to start journeying to Wild Divine []. Learn to change your mental state for fun and profit.

  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:12AM (#27920721)

    Enough security at airports, we get it, they're "safe." The real security threats are against soft targets with no protection at all. Any location with a large crowd is a target and they're also impossible to defend.

    I can see why you want fingerprints on passports, but all the insane stuff since then (e.g. "makes you naked" (Backscatter) child porno vision) is just over the top and adds an insanely small amount of additional protection.

    Let's remember:
    - All 9/11 passengers used valid ID
    - All recent terrorists have also used valid ID

  • A former coworker who is a Syrian expatriate and I were talking about Islamic terrorism, and the conversation turned to Saudi Arabia. If you look at the profile of international Islamic terrorism, Saudi Arabia is disproportionately represented in terrorist groups around the world. I don't know if it's still true, but at its peak, half of the insurgents we killed in Iraq on any given day were Saudis.

    If Western countries simply prohibited Saudi nationals from staying for any length longer than a vacation or b

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mc1138 ( 718275 )
      There's a fundamental flaw here, you assume that it would be just a matter of targeting Saudis. All this would do is make a smarter terrorist. Recruit from other countries, forge credentials, smuggle people in, or better yet attack targets outside our borders. I'm not against racial profiling on a moral standpoint, I'm against it on an effectiveness standpoint, because, simply put, it doesn't work. And neither will this brain scanning thing, people will find ways around it.
      • by MikeRT ( 947531 )

        There's a fundamental flaw here, you assume that it would be just a matter of targeting Saudis. All this would do is make a smarter terrorist. Recruit from other countries, forge credentials, smuggle people in, or better yet attack targets outside our borders.

        That won't change the fact that their most fertile recruiting grounds are in Saudi Arabia. In addition, forged identities have always been a problem. There isn't much that we could do now if Saudi terrorists went to Jordan and paid off a government

        • by mc1138 ( 718275 )
          You point out the flaw in your line of reasoning right in your own rebuttal.

          Would create a serious barrier for all but the most connected terrorist groups.

          The problem is that these are the ones that we have to defend ourselves against, the ones that fly planes into buildings. Racial profiling provides a very false sense of security as it only stops the small time and amateur people. Further more, the mere act of treating a group of people in that way can push them towards the well connected recruiters. To quote Benjamin Franklin

          They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

          If we become the persecutors here, all we're doing i

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In Canada your post would be a violation of human rights and you would be sent to jail for it. They have already won, bow down to your Oil Producing Overlords.
      • by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:37AM (#27921871)

        Hardly. If he called for the total, world encompassing genocide of all Muslims, he could in theory get 14 years maximum. In theory. As it stands, he was not calling for genocide, of Muslims, or even the deportation of Muslims, simply limiting the time they can stay in the country legally. So, baring calling for genocide, you'll have to settle on the lesser charge of inciting hatred. Since in Canada, truth is a defense, you cannot complain about his statement about the proportionality of Saudis involved in terror attacks, unless of course he's lying. Further, discussions about public policy or religious doctrine are also exempt. Since he's calling for a discussion on how to deal with the issue, he'd be immune even if he were more hard line.

        I'll summarize for you. In Canada, you cannot make speech that is "incites hatred". What does that mean? It's up to the courts to decide what inciting hatred means exactly. The courts have held that saying "The jews are a disease and Hitler was just trying to clean up the world" is "revolting, disgusting, and untrue" but not inciting hatred, and therefore overturned the $1000 fine against the journalist who wrote that.

        People love to rail against the hate crimes laws in Canada. The worst are the provincial ones. Saskatchewan's law is notoriously encompassing, and basically says you can't even say something that makes another group "uncomfortable" or feel "undignified". Fortunately, their provincial courts don't care about that bit, and tend to overturn anything that makes it to their desks. The only real issue is that you're not entitled to council during the tribunal, though of course you are if you want to appeal it to the courts, which is highly recommended.

        Never the less, in 32 years of Human Rights tribunals, there are perhaps a handful cases of them making a ruling against somebody for hate speech, and only 1 has held on appeal to the courts. People make a big hubbub about various Muslim groups filing complaints. Yes, the filed the complaints. Yes, the Human Rights Commission looked at the complaints. But they always dismiss it. Always! Besides that one neo-nazi who didn't even have to pay his fine, a few religious groups have been fined and had their fines overturned as well, all also in Sask. And the only hate speech conviction to ever be upheld, also in Sask, for distributing fliers showing various gruesome diseases saying they were God's punishment for homosexuality, and calling for the deaths or imprisonment of all gays. He also had fliers showing decapitated corpses saying "Islam is a religion of murder and Muhammad was a man of violence" and calling for preemptive violence against them, as well. I think he made it on the Daily Show after he finished 4th of 8 in a run for Mayor of Regina? Whenever people file complaints about magazine articles etc, the magazine doesn't care, the author doesn't care, and the Commission throws it out before it reaches the Tribunal. Despite the obnoxiously broad wording, the courts have always held the law to a much more reasonable standard of hatred. You'd be hard pressed to get in trouble over less than calling for actual violence and murder. Yes, if the OP had put his post in a magazine, then maybe the Muslim Council would file a complaint, just like if he said we should kick all the Jews out the ADL would file a complaint. But if history is any indication, the Human Rights Commission would dismiss the complaint before it ever got to the point where the magazine or author had to show up anywhere. And if for some reason they thought his post was MORE hateful than "Hitler was a hero and a saint!" the courts would certainly toss out the ensuing fine.

        • Since in Canada, truth is a defense,

          Ummm, nope, truth is not a defense in hate crime prosecutions in Canada. IIRC the courts ruled on that in the Zundel or Keegstra cases. There is an official history in Canada and you better not deviate from it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

      We think we're taking the moral high ground when all we're doing is importing people who want to tear down our societies

      The point of a cultural melting pot is to take those people in and make them a part of the society, changing it and making it more worldly in the process. Unfortunately, we have done everything we can to be as isolated and insulated a global citizen as we can (as a nation) and most people still think affirmative action is something being done to benefit minorities.


      • by MikeRT ( 947531 )

        The point of a cultural melting pot is to take those people in and make them a part of the society, changing it and making it more worldly in the process.

        Uhhh no. If you believe that, then you're seriously uninformed about the traditional justifications of the melting pot. The point of a melting pot is that it melts down the incoming materials and makes it part of the mixture. What you're describing is what is derisively called the "beef stew immigration policy" in which immigrants come in, don't really

        • Nations that go that route usually don't fare well once there is a serious downfall in the economy.

          It's a good thing that'll never happen here.
          Oh crap.

    • by Yacoby ( 1295064 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:31AM (#27920937)

      If Western countries simply prohibited Saudi nationals from staying for any length longer than a vacation or business trip, it'd be easier to keep out suspected Islamic terrorists. If Western governments would also start shutting down Saudi-financed mosques and Islamic schools, that'd be even better.

      We can't do that. Do you know how much oil comes from Saudi Arabia?

    • Saudi Arabia is disproportionately represented in terrorist groups around the world

      hmmm, I wonder how could that be []?

      the majority of Muslims would be left alone to live in peace if that's their desire

      The problem is that a "moderate Muslim" is really an oxymoron. Islamic law very explicitly says that it *must* be applied to every circumstance in life, without exception.

      This situation is very well analyzed in this book []. Islamic scholars like Sayyid Qutb [] have put the situation in the following terms:

      1) One must

      • The problem is that a "moderate Muslim" is really an oxymoron.

        What do you call an average citizen of Turkey, then?

        Moderate Islam is not an oxymoron as such, not anymore than moderate Christian. The problem is that Christianity was aggressively beaten into submission, and eventually pacified, in the course of the last several centuries. Remember, they were still burning witches 2 centuries ago in some places... and Islam is much younger, and, more importantly, its development has been going in a different way.

        Christian mainstream has been defined by Roman Catholicism f

      • by tobiah ( 308208 )

        The problem is that a "moderate Muslim" is really an oxymoron. Islamic law very explicitly says that it *must* be applied to every circumstance in life, without exception.

        Man, every religion says it must be applied to every circumstance in life. While Islam looks pretty radical today, back in the Dark Ages they were totally the relaxed enlightened society, and it was the Christian world that was a bunch of backwards extremists. I've read most of the Qu'ran, it has plenty of inconsistencies and the Muslim extremists are definitely cherry-picking their quotes out of context and taking advantage of the illiteracy of their followers, just like Medieval Christians leaders did.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      OTOH if you start doing this, you would loose the thing you wanted to protect in the first place.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
      To graduate from my undergraduate history program, I had to write a 25-paper dedicated to the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia since 1980. Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest foreign investors in the United States. To bar Saudi businessmen from lengthy stays in the United States would be to invite even more financial ruin on this country, as they would all back out of their investments. And they have invested in almost every sector in corporate America. Also, in regards to terroris
    • Who cares about Islamic terrorism? al-Qaida pulled off two operations in the US, one in 1993 and one in 2001, and got a big success in 2001. That was eight years ago, and it can't happen again. Heck, it couldn't be pulled off four times in one day, because the passengers on the fourth plane knew what was going on and stopped it.

      By now, the number of deaths in the US from Islamic terrorism this century per year is under 500. Do you realize how many causes of death there are that kill over 500 people a

  • by xp ( 146294 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:20AM (#27920787) Homepage Journal

    What if airport security accidentally invokes brainscan with the --format flag? Also, does this mean brains are open source now?
    Slow Poke []

    • You can't format wirelessly, you have to attach a cable [].

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MadKeithV ( 102058 )
      My brain runs ReiserFS.
      On second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea.
    • Open source brain

      They're already developed that way.

      Two people get together initially to start off the project. After that anyone that interacts with it shapes its development; although initially it changes quite rapidly, little patches are constantly applied throughout its life. A rare few become genuinely useful entities that improve all the others.

      As the project begins to die, it becomes bloated and gets abandoned. Maintenance ceases. The valuable lessons accumulated over its life are then discarded as the next

  • by InsertWittyNameHere ( 1438813 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @09:20AM (#27920795)

    They'll have to up the minimum requirements for being the security check person from "some highschool" to "med school graduate"

    Now offering free prostate exams with every flight!

  • Thankfully, I'm immune to both brain scanners and zombies.
  • Maybe this is different in EEG, but in the context of fMRI, subject is likely the easiest variable to classify on. I've done some experiments on it myself as part of my doctoral work. Even something as simple as wavelet processing the data and performing k-nearest neighbor classification yielded 96% accuracy on a motor task fMRI dataset of moderate size, and that was just a baseline method I was using to compare a better one to! In fact, the effect of the task was being obscured by the subject, and we had t

    • How big was the population you were classifying? Dozens? Hundreds? Is classification still going to be easy with no collisions or miss-classifications once you are working with hundreds of millions or billions? What about when the subject has a headache or otherwise has an altered mental state?

      (To be fair, this technology probably wouldn't be used to classify (i.e. given a scan figure out who it is) but rather to verify (i.e. check that a scan matches a particular ID) which doesn't really care about coll

    • by Yuri33 ( 751077 )

      As a fellow researcher in fMRI with a doctorate myself, I have to take exception with how easily you think you can "classify" people with terrorist (or just even simply dishonest) thoughts.

      1. Your study most likely stimulated the subject several times, of which an average was taken and then classified. This would not work in the real world, as repeating the same question over and over ("Are you a terrorist? Are you a terrorist? ...") would not work similarly to having a subject push a button repeatedly

      • We're classifying by subject ("whose brain is this based on the other scans in the dataset?"), not by terrorist thoughts. The problem you're discussing is much harder.
  • Is it possible to perform the scan without collecting medical information about brain/heart? If no, then it seriously violates private character of my health information. What is the guarantee that the information will not leak (read: get sold on black market to insurance companies, potential employers, ...)? Final question: what do I gain from this? More taxpayer money wasted on security theater?
    • The "features" that these machines are interested are likely to be ones considered irrelevant by physicians. I expect that the software in the scanner processes and compresses the data in such a way as to make it useless for medical purposes. This would be done to speed and simplify processing and storage, not to protect your privacy, of course.

  • So, if they don't detect a brain, then clearly you must be from The Home Office?
  • You have a stroke or a heart bypass?
  • Convicted by no action of their own, just observation of a brain scan.

    This has serious consequences. Anyone can observe an action. Only a few can read brain scans. We must trust those that can read brain scans that what they say about them are correct.

    We can now be a criminal due to a technology so advanced that the defendant has no ability to defend himself. It is essentially guilt by decree from the gifted (aka royalty).

    • > Convicted by no action of their own, just observation of a brain scan.

      No more so than by a fingerprint.

      > Only a few can read brain scans.

      No one can read a brain scan. This is just a (proposed) identification system. It would no more tell anyone what you are thinking than does face recognition (which it probably work no better than).

  • by z80kid ( 711852 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2009 @10:21AM (#27921601)
    We already use this technology to safeguard admittance to our nation's capitol building.

    If brain activity is detected, then you are not a Senator.

  • Even if it wirks. The reason is simple: If you do know the terrorists, you just pick them up and put them in prison. If you do not know them, no amounth of identification technology will help.

    Quite obvious, I would think.

  • I've had migraines all my life and have had EEGs done to diagnose the cause. I've seen my EEGs when I have a migraine and when I don't have a migraine; they are substantially different. Looks like travel through the EU might be a bit dicey for me in the future.

    • Depends on whether or not they can identify features that vary from one individual to the next but not in the same individual over time. Seems unlikely, but I'm not a neurologist.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      In addition, I have to wonder if they even TRIED to test their theories against epileptics, recipients of brain surgery or deep brain implants (before and after) or even against people with biofeedback training (it's amazing how much a person with training can alter their EEG, including producing deep sleep patterns while fully conscious).

      Other subjects they should be (but probably are not) testing against include ECT and TMS patients.

  • Mood rings. What color is "terrorist?"
  • Between all the cameras and facial scanners at the UK, and now brain scanners and other intrusive surveillance techniques being instituted at the EU, one could see a future where historians note that George W Bush was actually rather a brake on the deployment of new "security" technology, as opposed to his trans-Atlantic counterparts.

  • "Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning after EU researchers successfully tested technology to verify Âidentities for security checks." - This is the only information in the whole article about the brain scans. mre info plz :(
  • EU funded science projects rarely lead to useful results.

  • The positive thing about this is that people are trying to develop more reliable biometric technology. It could be argued that an ID card, passport, employee badge, credit card, wrist band, or door key is an item used to prove identity and entitlement. Biometrics are a form of identification that comes closer to proving that you _are_ who you're supposed to be, not just that you have what you're supposed to have. Now, I'm not saying that this kind of technology couldn't be used invasively, but there are p
  • People being sniffing spray paint at airports. :(

  • When the sexy Stewardess is checking in in front of you, I guess the brain scan will be a blank slate.

  • I realise this is too late, but, when has any of this FUD come to pass ? I live in the uk and apart from the cameras (mostly private, cannot photograph the public, or the public (cannot photograph the private)) there is no-one suffering from these innovations. I still go about my business (law breaking and all) and have yet to be questioned. Is it just a matter of time, or are you all just freaking unnecessarily. The potential is there, but the potential is ALWAYS there, isn't it ?

    I am no shrinking violet,
  • Without the Scientologist actor in tow, of course.

Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's? -- P.J. Plauger