posted Sep 10, 2001

Reading your mouse movements
Privacy from Companies
'A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, US, say they have developed a way to record mouse movements on a page and learn how people behave when they are on the internet.'

If I was at MIT now, and a prof had asked me to work on this, I think I'd have actually refused. Certainly there's a lot of neutral technology, like facial recognition, that can be used in positive ways or negative ways (privacy invasion, computerized psuedo-justice), but there's just no neutrality about this. There's virtually no academic value to this research I can see. The only conceivable use is privacy invasion.

Oh, sure, the researchers talk about customizing store orders. Bah! That only works in the lab, it's too complicated to implement that in the real world to any significant degree, because the system will be wrong too often. (Not every mouse movement you make is meaningful, but the system is forced to interpret most of them as such.) Of course the first and primary use of this will be advertising tracking...



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