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Baseline Brainwave Biometrics


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This document proposes the development of an algorithm that can be used to identify an individual using their unique baseline brainwave pattern.

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Baseline Brainwave Biometrics

  1. 1. A RESEARCH PROPOSALBaseline Brainwave Biometrics
  2. 2. Baseline Brainwave Biometrics www.oliviamoran.meOlivia Moran is a leading training specialist who specialises in E-Learning instructional designand is a certified Moodle expert. She has been working as a trainer and course developer for 3years developing and delivery training courses for traditional classroom, blended learning andE-learning.Courses Olivia Moran Has Delivered:● MOS● ECDL● Internet Marketing● Social Media● Google [Getting Irish Businesses Online]● Web Design [FETAC Level 5]● Adobe Dreamweaver● Adobe Flash● MoodleSpecialties:★Moodle [MCCC Moodle Certified Expert]★ E Learning Tools/ Technologies [Commercial & Open Source]★ Microsoft Office Specialist★ Web Design & Online Content Writer★ Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash & PhotoshopABOUT THIS PAPERThis paper was written as part of a group collaboration between Olivia Moran, Eric Nichols andBarry Feehily. It was submitted to the University of Ulster as part of the Masters in Computingand Information Systems Management, Intelligent Systems and Design.
  3. 3. © Olivia Moran [] Baseline Brainwave Biometrics1. ABSTRACT remain oblivious to the community of card scanners, shoulder surfers and thieves who constantly strive to come up with new andTraditional as well as modern methods of more innovative ways to steal their money andidentification are not capable of protecting more importantly their identities. Thethe vast amounts of confidential data that majority of passwords do not provide aexists worldwide. Identity fraud has become a satisfactory level of security. They can easilybillion pound industry (Travis 2006). This be forgotten, stolen should they be writtendocument proposes the development of an down, overheard and even guessed.algorithm that can be used to identify anindividual using their unique baseline Modern approaches namely biometrics offerbrainwave pattern. It addresses the need to much more acceptable levels of security andanticipate the ethical issues that will arise protection for both individuals andfrom the use of this biometric. It also corporations. The concept of biometrics is notpurposes to determine the legal position of new. It has been around since the 1920’ssuch a biometric technology in light of current when the Federal Bureau of Investigationlegislation. Relevant research previously (F.B.I) in the United States (U.S.) introducedconducted and their contributions are fingerprinting technologies for the purpose ofexamined in depth. The aims and objectives identifying criminals. Since the beginning ofof the proposed research are clearly defined its existence biometrics has developed intoand the rationale underlying this choice of many forms, but not without each bringingresearch is explained. All the methods and their own limitations and shortfalls. The typespreliminary design required for the most widely used today include retina, facial,achievement of the proposed objectives are Deoxyribonucleic Acid (D.N.A.) and irishighlighted. The necessity of the proposed recognition. Retina scanning has not beenresearch along with the potential introduced to the same extent as facial, D.N.A.contributions it could make to the field of and iris recognition. Retina scanning isbiometrics is argued. concerned with the measurement of the retina’s blood vessel patterns. The process of2. INTRODUCTION obtaining the retina scan is considered personally invasive; time consuming andThe current methods available for requires a very skilled operator.identification of individual’s to present datehave had limited success in the fight against Facial recognition examines the differentfraud, identity theft and terrorism. features found on an individual’s face andTechniques traditionally used such as personal then analyses them in an attempt to establishidentification numbers (P.I.N.’s) and passwords their identity. Challenges in terms ofhave many weaknesses and can easily be taken developing hardware that will successfullyadvantage of by well clued in criminals. map the features of the face reliably andEveryday, people worldwide key their P.I.N.’s accurately have not yet been fully addressed.into automatic teller machines (A.T.M.’s), send A number of ethical issues have been raisedthem over unsecured and unencrypted about the widespread use of this type ofnetworks and enter them in full view into technology mainly relating to the privacycredit card machines in retail shops. They rights of individual’s. In 2001, facial scanning
  4. 4. © Olivia Moran [] Baseline Brainwave Biometricsreceived a substantial amount of bad press Iris scanning along with the other forms ofwhen the F.B.I. in the U.S. tested out this biometrics mentioned cannot be used intechnology on every person entering the isolation if they wish to be effective. They‘Raymond James Stadium’ during the need to offer a multimodal means ofsuperbowl. This process was undertaken in identification. A system only offering iriscomplete secrecy thus creating a climate of recognition would exclude a substantial partdistrust towards such technologies. of the population who have either been born without an iris or lost it through an accident.D.N.A. testing is used to measure the genetic The exclusion of users with disabilities couldmake up i.e. genetic signature, which makes be deemed unethical and discriminatory andan individual unique. The results of the test even illegal under the legislation currentlycan take a long time to compile compared to governing certain countries.other methods such as facial and irisrecognition. It is also incapable of The limitations and weaknesses associateddistinguishing monozygotic twins i.e. twins with the biometric technologies mentionedwho come from the same embryo. D.N.A. could be overcome by a relatively newtesting requires the acquisition of a sample of biometric technology called ‘Baselinean individual’s D.N.A.. This sample is obtained Brainwave Biometrics’. Such a technologyby taking a sample of cells from the inner side could be used in isolation as studies showof the cheek using a swab. Again, ethical ‚every single individual has a unique andissues arise with the application of this unchanging baseline brainwave pattern‛technology. Some religions consider the Lawson (2002). This process would require nocollection of such a sample to be a breech of action on the part of the user once enrolledtheir religious beliefs. and a biometric profile constructed. A remote brainwave biometric system would not beIris recognition involves analysing an personally invasive in any way and thereforeindividual’s iris. The iris is made up of a would cause no discomfort or inconvenienceunique pattern, which is different in each eye to the user. It would also not pose any healthand even among monzygotic twins. The risks, as the scanners would not emit anyprocess of identifying people using this infrared lights. It would also be relativelytechnology involves standing at a camera that impossible to replicate the baseline brainwaveuses an infrared light in order to obtain an in a manner that could trick such a system.image of the iris. The medical effect of thislight on the health of individual’s still remains This document proposes the development ofdebatable. Independent medical personnel an algorithm to analyse baseline brainwavewho do not have an interest in the commercial patterns, for the express purpose ofapplication of this technololgy need to carry identification of individuals. It aims to identifyout further studies to find a conclusive answer. the ethical issues that will arise from the useProblems arise when the subject being of baseline brainwave biometrics. It proposesidentified suddenly moves their head or turns that the legality of using such a biometricaway from the scanner. In this case, it is technology also be established. It willunable to successfully carry out identification. examine the work already done in this field of study as well as the contributions that are relevant and lay the foundation for the
  5. 5. © Olivia Moran [] Baseline Brainwave Biometricsproposed work. The aims and objectives aredefined and the rationale for undertaking Some of the same concepts considered duringsuch work is argued. The methods and their research apply to the proposed researchpreliminary design used to accomplish these being put forward in this document. Thedefined objectives are explained in detail. The process used by Thorpe et al (2005) involvedsignificance of this proposed research as well the capture of the subjects EEG signals whichas its contribution to this field of study will be they describe as representations of ‚thehighlighted. electrical activity in the brain as measured from outside of the skull . . . EEG’s are3. BACKGROUND normally acquired by using a set of electrodes that must make contact with the skin on theLITERATURE scalp. These signals are amplified and digitized‛ Thorpe et al (2005). PresentlyLawson carried out some of the earliest work technology does not exist that enablesdone in the field of brainwave biometrics. capturing to be carried out remotely and,Lawson conducted numerous experiments therefore, a similar means of capturing EEGinvolving people with disabilities. The signals will be used by the authors. It is hopedobjective of these tests was ‚to help people that such technology will be developed in theovercome mental disabilities, by teaching future.them how to alter or normalize a specificbrainwave pattern‛. During this study he Millan & Marcel (2006) have conducted afound that ‚A person has the ability to alter significant amount of research into the area ofmost of their own brainwave patterns, they brain computer interfaces. This work iscannot alter what is referred to as their concerned mostly with the ‚bulk response ofbaseline brainwave pattern‛ Lawson (2002). the brain‛ when exposed to a mental stimulusLawson concluded that since such a brainwave i.e. making a person think of an image andis unique to an individual, and can be then reading the brain’s total bulk response.measured, then it could be used as a Similar principles apply to Millians’ research asbiometric. These brainwaves are basically that being proposed but differ due to the factelectrical signals called electroencephalogr that it would only be concerned with one type-aphy (EEG’s), which emit from the brain. of brainwave the baseline brainwave. ItLawson coined the term ‚EEG Fingerprint‛. would not require a subject to think about a particular thing i.e. an image. His workAnother study was undertaken by Thorpe et al concentrated on the authentication of(2005), which involved anlaysing individuals individuals whereas the proposed researchbrainwave patterns to extract information would focus on identification only.that could be used to control certain functionson a computer. They argue that this kind ofresearch focusing on the brainwave patterns 4. PROPOSED WORKhas only been made possible due to the factthat ‚in recent years the cost of computers 4.1 Objectiveswith sufficient processing power to analyzeEEG signals in real-time has become 1. To develop an algorithm which willaffordable‛. successfully identify an individuals’
  6. 6. © Olivia Moran [] Baseline Brainwave Biometrics baseline brainwave pattern from a aspects if not managed correctly could have a database consisting of ten billion binary detrimental effect on the implementation of patterns. this technology and ultimately its success.2. To highlight the ethical issues associated It is also essential to establish how such a with the use of baseline brainwave biometric technology would stand against biometric technologies and the potential current legislation. There is obviously no point impacts of these issues on the introduction creating a technology that cannot be used of these technologies. because it is both illegal and unethical.3. To identify the legality of the utilisation of 4.3 Methodology & Preliminary baseline brainwave biometric technologies Design in terms of the current legislation governing the European Union (E.U.), the This section outlines the methods and designs U.S. as well as International Law. that will be used for the achievement of the stated objectives.4.2 Rationale 4.3.1. Method for the achievement ofPresently, technology does not exist which Objective 1allows remote identification of individualsusing biometric techniques. Brainwavebiometrics has the potential to overcome this An algorithm will be produced through thecurrent limitation. Such a system would completion of both primary and secondaryrequire an algorithm to compare baseline research. The primary research will involvebrainwave patterns and distinguish unique creating something new; the techniques thatidentifiers within these patterns. These will be used to develop and use the algorithmpatterns could potentially be checked against to identify individuals.a database consisting of ten billion binarypatterns. The United State’s Census Bureau’s The algorithm will be concerned with threehave made a prediction that the world’s main areas.population will reach between nine and tenbillion people by 2050 (See Appendix 1). 1. The acquisition of a baseline brainwaveAssuming this predication to be relatively pattern.accurate the algorithm proposed will besufficient to meet the needs of a worldwide 2. The transference of the collectedpopulation for at least the next 40 years. brainwave into a unique binary format, which can be analysed to identify uniqueIt is necessary to carry out research to identify characteristics.the ethical issues that will arise from using abiometric technology of this kind. This field of 3. The comparison of the baseline brainwaveresearch is in its early stages and the impacts to stored records for a match.of this technology on areas such as such asprivacy, users with disabilities and religiousconcerns have not yet been established. These
  7. 7. © Olivia Moran [] Baseline Brainwave BiometricsIt is hoped that a scanner would be developed guaranteed by using the following pseudowhich would enable the scanning of an code:individuals’ baseline brainwave pattern to becarried out remotely. Such technology would  The subject brainwave is obtained.ensure complete ease of use as no actionwould be required from users. The hardware  While this process is undertaken theneeded to detect these extremely weak following will be done. (wave being readbrainwaves has not yet been developed. != start of wave); //will last millisecondsHowever when it is, an algorithm will berequired that will separate brainwaves from  Read in and record start to end of wave.the baseline brainwave. Next, the collected brainwave patterns needThe proposed research will require full user to be transformed into a binary format so thatparticipation as a result of these limitations it can then be analysed to extract the baselinewith existing hardware. It will be concerned brainwave pattern and its unique identifiers.only with the collection of brainwaves from a A number of factors need to be consideredsingle individual at any one time. The design during this stage, including the wavelength,of the algorithm will be such that it will use amplitude and frequency of each crest andlow coupling. This will ensure that the trough found in the brainwave pattern. Thesealgorithm can be altered at a later date to parameters must be converted into theirallow for the separation of brainwaves from corresponding binary codes. Each baselinemultiple persons, when hardware is advanced brainwave pattern is unique and therefore,enough to cater for this implementation. the resulting binary data will be absolutely distinct.The acquisition of the baseline brainwavepattern will involve the use of a device that A system comprising of a database containingmust be worn by the subject as outlined in up to 10,000,000,000 binary digits is proposed.figure 1. This device amplifies the brainwaves There will be no duplication of these binaryso that they are strong enough to be detected digits with each corresponding directly to theby an E.E.G. reader. parameters of up to 10,000,000,000 unique individuals’ baseline brainwaves.Figure 1: Finally, the algorithm will compare the subjects’ baseline brainwave pattern to stored records to determine a match. The comparison of brainwaves against a database of ten billion brainwaves would take anSource: unacceptable and unreasonable amount of time. Consequently, a method that uses aThe brainwave will then be stored. This binary searching algorithm is proposed. Thisbrainwave for comparison reasons will have will conduct a search on an ordered list withboth a start and an end to its binary structure. data being stored in multiple databases. For aThe efficiency of this process will be process such as this to work, a number of steps need to be taken. The first would involve
  8. 8. © Olivia Moran [] Baseline Brainwave Biometricsdetermining exactly which database should be 4.3.2 Method for the achievement ofsearched. The first few binary numbers of Objective 2each brainwave pattern could satisfy thispurpose. For example, all patterns starting The main ethical issues arising from the use ofwith 00101 would be in one database and all brainwave biometrics will be identified. Thethe patterns with a pattern of 00110 would be identification will be made possible throughin another database. both primary and secondary research. The primary research will involve interviewingOnce the relevant database is located a binary ethic experts in the field of biometrics.searching algorithm can be applied to the Interviews will also be conducted with peopledata that it contains. This will determine who are expert biometric system operators.whether the data is found or not found. Such These groups of people have an in-depthan undertaking would involve an enormous understanding of the ethical implicationsamount of off-line processing to insert every associated with the use of biometricbinary brainwave in order to its binary technologies. Different focus groups will alsonumber. Insertion algorithms already exist be utilised. This will be necessary towhich would successfully carry out this process, determine the general attitudes, assumptionstherefore, the scope of the proposed research and opinions of individuals in relation towill not cover this aspect. different ethical issues. Three groups will be used, the first consisting of individuals whoThe proposed research will focus on the search have never used any sort of biometricof the database during this stage. Secondary technology. The second will include peopleresearch will be necessary to identify and who use biometric technologies on a dailycritically analyse the different comparison basis and the third will be made up ofalgorithms in order to find the most individuals who are biometric systemappropriate one that will provide one operators. This will enable the authors tohundred percent accuracy in the quickest time. analyse the views of the different types ofAmong these will be the hamming distance people who could be affected by thisalgorithm. technology.These three steps will serve to identify every All of the people involved in this qualitativepattern that has a match in the database. At research will be participating of their own freethe same time it is critical that such a process will and will not be coerced i.e. throughdoes not produce a false match. To this end monetary means or deception in any way tothe proposed research will have to look in take part. The procedures and activities thatdepth at previous work completed in the area will be undertaken during the activities will beof baseline brainwave patterns to find the explained to all participates in detail prior toproper number of bits that will be needed to the collection of the research data. Allencode each individuals’ baseline brainwave participates will be allowed to remaininto a unique dataset. This will require the anonymous should they wish to do so. Theyresearchers to examine academic journals, shall also be able to leave the study at anyconference papers and research papers in time should they decide that they no longerdepth. want to take part. At all stages during the research, the authors will behave in a
  9. 9. © Olivia Moran [] Baseline Brainwave Biometricsrespectful and honest manner towards all intensively. Weaknesses in the security of suchparticipants. As argued by Willig (2000) a system will most likely occur at three main‚Researchers should protect their participants points. Firstly, when information is being sentfrom any harm or loss, and they should aim to from the scanner to the database it couldpreserve their psychological well-being and possibly be intercepted. It is thereforedignity at all times‛. essential that this information be encrypted. In this instance, if malicious characters obtainThe secondary research will take the form of the message it is of no use to them, as theyexamining informational and technical cannot decipher its content. Secondly, theresources in an effort to compose a literature sensor could be possibly tampered with andreview that will fully highlight work already thirdly, an individual could enter andone in this area. This will involve looking at organisation under the disguise of anacademic journals, conference papers and employee and set up a profile. There areaccredited websites. From these the authors encryption techniques already available thatwill be able to build upon the research already would suffice which are already widelyconducted and acknowledge the contributions accepted and standardised. The other twomade by other researches in this field. weak points would need to be addressed.4.3.3 Method for the achievement of This research also proposes to highlight theObjective 3 true extent of worldwide governmental interest in this field of study. ‚PotentialThe rapid progression of the use of Biometrics impact that government might use of thesehas raised concerns from a legal point of view, technologies might have on personal freedomespecially the legislation concerning privacy ... The government could use some unforeseenand the protection of data. If a brainwave technological advances to compile biometricbiometric system was to be introduced it records for the real-time tracking ofwould have to comply with legal requirements individuals‛ Wayman (2000).that are currently in place. Take for example‘The Data Protection Act (1998)’ in Ireland. The identification of the most influentialAccording to this act personal data can only be legislation as well as establishingcollected for a specific purpose and should be government’s level of interest will involve theadequate, relevant and not excessive for the completion of both primary and secondarypurpose for which it is collected and research. This primary research will involveprocessed. In addition it must be accurate and carrying out interviews with legal experts whoup to date. Appropriate security measures are experts in the field of biometrics andmust be in place to protect it. If a company is especially legislation governing people’s rightfound to be in breech of the requirements of to privacy and protection of data. People whothis act they can be prosecuted. play a role in the creation of such legislation and policy will also be interviewed, as they willThis legislation and others similar to it put a be able to predict future legislative and policylot of pressure on system designers and trends.operators to ensure that they create a systemthat is absolutely secure. This makes securityan essential element that must be considered
  10. 10. © Olivia Moran [] Baseline Brainwave Biometrics4.4 Timeline 6. BIBILIOGRAPHYIt is predicted that the methodologies outlined IBVA (2006) ‚The body is the soil of the mind‛will take at least three years to complete given [Internet], Accessed: 06 November 2006.a team consisting of three researchers. Lawson, W.J. (2002) ‚The New Wave - Biometric Access & Neural Control‛ [Internet],5. CONCLUSION Accessed: 06 November 2006.This document proposed the construction of MILLIAN, J. & Marcel, S. (2006) ‚Personan algorithm that would enable baseline Authentication using Brainwaves (EEG) andbrainwave patterns to be measured in an Maximum A Posteriori Model Adaptation‛effort to identify an individual. Research was IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis andalso proposed that would bring to light the Machine Intelligence, Special Issue onethical and legal issues that arise from the use Biometrics‛ [Internet], Accessed: 02 Novemberof such technology. It examined research 2006.previously undertaken in this field and thecontributions that it made. The objectives of The United State’s Census Bureau (2006)the proposed research were defined and the ‚Total Midyear Population for the World: 1920importance of undertaking such work was – 2050‛ [Internet], Accessed: 02 Decemberargued. The procedures and preliminary 2006.designs that the researchers intend to use toachieve the objectives were clearly laid out. THORPE, J. & OORSCHOT & SOMAYAJI, A (2005) ‚Pass-thoughts: Authenticating withThe potential that lies in the construction of a Our Minds‛ Highlights from the 2005 Newbrainwave biometric technology knows no Security Paradigms Workshop [Internet],boundaries. Requiring no action from users it Accessed: 6 November 2006.would be the only biometric technology of itskind. Security breaches would be no more TRAVIS, A. (2006) ‚Identity fraud costwith people not foolishly turning off security estimated by Home Office at ₤1.7bn a year‛features because of the inconvience that they The Guardian [Internet], Accessed: 10cause and the systems themselves being December 2006fooled. Identity theft would be relativelyimpossible with credit card fraud being no Wayman, J.L. (2000) ‚Federal Biometricmore and unauthorised access being a thing of Technology Legislation‛ Computer [Internet],the past. Users with disabilities would no 33(2), pp. 76-80. Accessed: 3 November 2006.longer be bound to the limitations of thephysical world in which they live. This Willig, C. (2001) ‚Introducing qualitativeresearch should it be successful in the research in psychology: Adventures in theoryachievement of the proposed objectives, will and method‛ Buckingham: Open Universityundoubtedly progress society towards the Press.creation of a safer and a more inclusivesociety.