Privacy is on a slippery slope...

Neurocam. Credit: Neurowear

I have posted some news in the past about new, low cost and portable Brain Computer Interface. Now I start to see some applications coming up leveraging the signals that are generated by the BCI.

This is one of them, created by Keiko University scientists. As you can see in the photo, and in the video clip, the system is based on a BCI device MindWave Mobile, produced by NeuroSky and available at 129$, that I already posted last year, to which an iPhone is attached (or an Android smart phone). The App runs on the smart phone.

It activates the smart phone camera any time it detects that something has aroused your attention. It can tell this by processing the brain waves detected by the MindWave Mobile.

The idea is that as you move around the Apps will record the most significant moments of your day, in the sense of those situations that have attracted your attention. With a bit of tweaking you can direct the App to record only those situation having generated a positive emotion or whatever you choose. The MindWave Mobile signals can indeed be processed to detect a variety of sensations, and we might expect that as time goes by more and more sophisticated analyses will become available.

Now, this is clearly a gadget but imagine if it becomes a mass market device (in terms of usage, in terms of price it can already be seen as a mass market product...).

I read, just few days ago, of a research on divorces: apparently as many as 30% of divorces among young couples have their root in the discovery on some social media of the cheating of one of the partners. I cannot but ask myself what would happen once you can tap into your Partner daily attention moments...

Today is about peaking to his SMSs, just imagine once you could peak inside his mind!

For sure, BCI is just another way to gather data and increase the amount of information that can be created. Privacy issues are going to pop up more and more, and the more solutions are found to control privacy threats the more technology will provide data that in turns will increase threats in a never ending story. 

The Privacy Security and Trust action line within the IT ICT Labs is looking at this issues, although the way data are flooding the world makes its goal of preserving privacy a lost battle. Worth fighting though ;-)


Author - Roberto Saracco

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