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Are Brainwaves the Passwords of the Future?

Florida Business Innovation - Cyber Liability Insurance

It’s a new year, a good time to ponder new and emerging technologies that could impact our future. Are brainwaves the passwords of the future? Reports of cyber attacks and hacking are increasing almost daily. For this reason, there is a need to find a more secure way of protecting valuable data and personal information. Traditionally we have used passwords, PINS and biometric authentication devices as gatekeepers for personal information. Incredibly, scientists have discovered a new way of authenticating users using their brainwaves.

A team of researchers at Binghamton University in New York have discovered that brain activity reacts differently to different images due to the emotional reaction of the individual to the stimuli. Amazingly, computer software was able to analyze the response patterns and use the information to identify each person’s brainprint with 100 percent accuracy. Electronic identification using brainwaves may eventually replace passwords, PINS, and possibly even fingerprint scans.

As it turns out, brainprints are more advantageous than digital fingerprint scans because, if a fingerprint is stolen the print is compromised, but a brainprint is a digital recording, not a physical one, so the print can be erased and reset. Emotional-based brainwave verification systems could have wide applications, such as controlling access to bank accounts, health records, computer resources, buildings, security screenings, and many more applications.

Another researcher has developed a system that uses brainwaves to not only identify an individual, but also evaluate their mental state. This technology could be used to develop an emotional brainprint for each individual person using patterns they emit when experiencing strong emotions, such as happiness, fear or other emotions. Such a system might be able to identify situations where it is not safe to grant access, such as when someone is high or drunk, or under duress by a thief. Emotion-based brainwaves will undoubtedly become more sophisticated over time as the data about an individual’s emotions are collected. This type of technology has applications in sectors such as the military, e-learning, health, etc.

In the future, your emotional state,  even in the cases of mental illness or chronic depression, may be identified through electrical brainwave patterns produced in response to visual or auditory stimulus. Once the patterns are evaluated, artificial intelligence will evaluate your emotional state and determine whether or not to give you access.

To learn more about cyber security and cyber liability insurance, contact the Lanier Upshaw Team.