Toomre Capital Markets LLC

Real-Time Capital Markets -- Analytics, Visualization, Event Processing, and Intelligence

Typing Technique as a Means of Identity Detection??

The UK Telegraph has a fascinating technology article on Friday March 26th 2009 entitled Typing Technique 'Could Trap Paedophiles'. This article highlights some recent research by Professor Roy Maxion, an associate professor at Newcastle University, now working at Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department. Apparently "researchers believe technology could be used to determine a computer typist's age, sex and culture within 10 keystrokes by monitoring their speed and rhythm."

This newspaper article goes on to explain how this technology could be useful in tracking down on-line fraudsters and pedophiles. Professor Maxion's recent paper with Professor Kevin S. Killourhy entitled Comparing Anomaly-Detection Algorithms for Keystroke Dynamics provides more details on the basic research.

Toomre Capital Markets LLC ("TCM") is particularly fascinated by this research. If one truly could identify a computer user's age, sex and culture in as few as ten keystrokes, imagine how much more secure the Internet might become simply by requiring say passwords of at least a dozen characters. Imagine also what might happen if one of the search engines were to incorporate such technology into the place where one enters a query. Another possibility might include incorporating the technology into instant messaging software and/or the dialog boxes that users are frequently required to fill out in order to access some specific content.

With approximate knowledge of age, sex and culture (combined with other information known about the visitor), there certainly are many possibilities about how a website or computer application might customize or limit the content that is served to that particular visitor. Certainly associated advertising could be more specifically targeted. That is the low hanging fruit though. If this identify information is fed in turn to Analytics, Visualization, Event Processing and/or Business Intelligence processes, enhanced results in a real-time world are virtually limitless … all from a user entering as few as ten keystrokes. Amazing!!