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How Your Mouse Movement Could Be Used to Stop Identity Theft

You know how instead of typing a squiggly word, Google now has you to just check a box to prove you're not a robot? I did not know how that was supposed to work until tonight. It's all about how you move your mouse! Apparently bots don't move a cursor the same way humans do. But mouse-movement analysis has gone further than that -it may be used to determine identity theft. So I thought, maybe everyone uses a very individual pattern of mouse movement, like fingerprints. No, that's not it. Mouse movement may work more like a lie detector. In an experiment, 40 Italian subjects answered questions by computer. Some were giving straight answers, while others were playing identity thieves, with information they memorized. They were given questions that the identity thieves has rehearsed, and then the subjects were all given unexpected questions. They did not know that the parameters being analyzed were the way they moved their mouses.     

What the researchers found was that the liars had a distinctive average mouse movement that was more circuitous than the truth tellers. Even when the liars were telling the truth, it seems that their overall dishonesty was infecting their movements and they could accurately be identified as lying. The researchers then repeated their full experiment with 20 German-speaking subjects to test for cultural differences and they arrived at the same conclusions.

Read more about the experiment and findings at Gizmodo.

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