Blog

Archive for the ‘privacy’ category

Mar 14, 2017

Your brain is unique – here’s how it could be used as the ultimate security password

Posted by in categories: finance, internet, mobile phones, neuroscience, privacy, security

Biometrics – technology that can recognise individuals based on physical and behavioural traits such as their faces, voices or fingerprints – are becoming increasingly important to combat financial fraud and security threats. This is because traditional approaches, such as those based on PIN numbers or passwords, are proving too easily compromised. For example, Barclays has introduced TouchID, whereby customers can log onto internet banking using fingerprint scanners on mobile phones.

However, this is not foolproof either – it is possible to forge such biometrics. Fingers can after all be chopped off and placed by impostors to gain fraudulent access. It has also been shown that prints lifted from glass using cellophane tape can be used with gelatine to create fake prints. So there is a real need to come up with more advanced biometrics that are difficult or impossible to forge. And a promising alternative is the brain.

Emerging biometric technology based on the electrical activity of the brain have indeed shown potential to be fraud resistant. Over the years, a number of research studies have found that “brainprints” (readings of how the brain reacts to certain words or tasks) are unique to individuals as each person’s brain is wired to think differently. In fact, the brain can be used to identify someone from a pool of 102 users with more than 98% accuracy at the moment, which is very close to that of fingerprints (99.8% accuracy).

Continue reading “Your brain is unique – here’s how it could be used as the ultimate security password” »

Feb 16, 2017

Material can turn sunlight, heat and movement into electricity—all at once

Posted by in categories: privacy, solar power, sustainability, wearables

Many forms of energy surround you: sunlight, the heat in your room and even your own movements. All that energy—normally wasted—can potentially help power your portable and wearable gadgets, from biometric sensors to smart watches. Now, researchers from the University of Oulu in Finland have found that a mineral with the perovskite crystal structure has the right properties to extract energy from multiple sources at the same time.

Perovskites are a family of minerals, many of which have shown promise for harvesting one or two types of at a time—but not simultaneously. One family member may be good for solar cells, with the right properties for efficiently converting solar energy into electricity. Meanwhile, another is adept at harnessing energy from changes in temperature and pressure, which can arise from motion, making them so-called pyroelectric and piezoelectric materials, respectively.

Sometimes, however, just one type of energy isn’t enough. A given form of energy isn’t always available—maybe it’s cloudy or you’re in a meeting and can’t get up to move around. Other researchers have developed devices that can harness multiple forms of energy, but they require multiple materials, adding bulk to what’s supposed to be a small and portable device.

Continue reading “Material can turn sunlight, heat and movement into electricity—all at once” »

Feb 14, 2017

Biometrics, real-time data poised to change dating

Posted by in categories: privacy, sex

There is nothing new about the elusiveness of love.

For millennia, people have written stories, sonnets and songs about the fundamental struggle of finding the perfect mate. Today, technology companies are writing code to help you do just that.

In the Bay Area, innovators like to envision a future in which technology will streamline, simplify and democratize love in its many phases — from dating to sex to marriage and, yes, even heartbreak.

Continue reading “Biometrics, real-time data poised to change dating” »

Feb 14, 2017

Outlawing microchipping humans not so far-fetched, Nevada senator says

Posted by in category: privacy

CARSON CITY — State Sen. Becky Harris said a bill to prohibit forced microchipping of people is not as far-fetched as it might seem, because it happens in some places around the world.

Senate Bill 109 would make it a Class C felony to require someone to be implanted with a radio frequency identifier, such as microchips placed in pets.

The idea for the bill came from a constituent, the Las Vegas Republican said.

Continue reading “Outlawing microchipping humans not so far-fetched, Nevada senator says” »

Feb 12, 2017

Distributed Objective Consensus: Beyond POW & POS

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, cryptocurrencies, economics, innovation, privacy, software

At the heart of Bitcoin or any Blockchain ledger is a distributed consensus mechanism. It’s a lot like voting. A large and diverse deliberative community validates each, individual user transaction, ownership stake or vote.

But a distributed consensus mechanism is only effective and faithful if the community is impartial. To be impartial, voters must be fairly separated. That is, there must be no collusion enabled by concentration or hidden collaboration. They must be separated from the buyer and seller; they must be separated from the big stakeholders; and they must be separated from each other. Without believable and measurable separation, all sorts of problems ensue. One problem that has made news in the Bitcoin word is the geographical concentration of miners and mining pools.

A distributed or decentralized transaction validation is typically achieved based on Proof-of-Work (POW) or Proof-of-Stake (POS). [explain]. But in practice, these methodologies exhibit subtle problems…

The problem is that Proof-of-Work can waste an enormous amount of energy and both techniques result in a concentration of power (either by geography or by special interest) — rather than a fair, distributed consensus.

Continue reading “Distributed Objective Consensus: Beyond POW & POS” »

Feb 9, 2017

Company offers employees RFID microchip implants to replace ID cards

Posted by in category: privacy

NewFusion, a Belgium-based marketing firm, is encouraging staff to ditch their ID cards in favour of microchips implanted under their skin.

Read more

Feb 8, 2017

Here’s what the Future of Banking Security Might Look Like

Posted by in categories: finance, privacy, quantum physics, security

Quantum Tech and Bank security.


BT’s research arm showcased the future of banking technology, including quantum key distribution and biometrics.

Read more

Feb 5, 2017

Judge Rules That Unlocking Cellphones via Fingerprint Does Not Violate Constitutional Rights

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, privacy

Wow — hope that folks at Apple, Samsung, Motorola, etc. see this.


In response to an incident that lacked any relation to the last fingerprint-related news, a Minnesota court ruled against a recent Fifth Amendment appeal regarding device passwords. The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that ordering an individual to unlock a device with a fingerprint “is no more testimonial than furnishing a blood sample, providing handwriting or voice exemplars, standing in a lineup, or wearing particular clothing.”

The case in question involved Matthew Vaughn Diamond, a man Carver County District Court found guilty in 2015 of burglary and theft, among other crimes. Other news outlets cite arrest records from far before 2015, but the records showed no relevance to the January 2017 ruling. The Carver County District Court fought Diamond over his phone’s contents—he locked the phone with a fingerprint and refused to unlock the phone for the court. He argued, initially, that forcing his fingerprint violated both his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. However, the Minnesota Court of Appeals heard only the Fifth Amendment appeal.

Continue reading “Judge Rules That Unlocking Cellphones via Fingerprint Does Not Violate Constitutional Rights” »

Jan 27, 2017

IARPA launching two programs aimed at making fingerprints more reliable biometrics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, privacy

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the intelligence community’s research arm, will soon launch two programs designed to detect fake fingerprints and develop devices to collect fingerprint data without the aid of a human operator, according to a report by GCN.

The Odin program, which is scheduled to begin with four prime developers in early March, will develop detection technologies that can spot presentation attacks on biometric devices that attempt to spoof physical biometric samples, said Chris Boehnen, senior program manager at IARPA.

Boehnen said that prosthetic fingers, fake fingerprints made with wood glue and other tactics can dupe current fingerprint sensors.

Continue reading “IARPA launching two programs aimed at making fingerprints more reliable biometrics” »

Jan 18, 2017

Sci-fi medical clinic opens in San Francisco

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, privacy, robotics/AI

Resembling something that looks more like an Apple store than a traditional doctor’s office, Forward proposes an entirely different approach to healthcare, with unlimited access to the clinic’s medical resources through a single monthly membership fee.

Upon arriving at a Forward clinic, members sign in on an iPad and enter a custom-designed body scanner. The device immediately processes a variety of biometric data which can be accessed by members through an app on their phone.

Things get even more futuristic when you move into the clinic’s exam rooms. Faced with a giant touch screen display on the wall integrating your medical history and recent biometric data, the doctor can discuss any imminent healthcare issues while an AI system monitors the conversation and instantly displays notes and suggested treatment plans.

Continue reading “Sci-fi medical clinic opens in San Francisco” »

Page 1 of 1112345678Last