Computer scientists have shown in two recently published papers how mouse movements can be used to gain knowledge about your behavior. It is said that the information that could be acquired from said mouse movements could reveal sensitive details such as age and gender. Talk about scary.
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Prof. Luis Leiva, the corresponding author of the two papers, provides further details on the study.
“We have demonstrated how straightforward it is to capture behavioral data about the users at scale, by unobtrusively tracking their mouse cursor movements, and predict user’s demographics information with reasonable accuracy using five lines of code. For years, recording mouse movements on websites has been easy, however to analyze them one would need advanced expertise in computer science and machine learning. Today, there are many libraries and frameworks that allows anyone with a minimum of programming knowledge to create rather sophisticated classifiers. This raises new privacy issues and users do not have an easy opt -out mechanism.”
To combat this potential risk, they developed a method to distort mouse coordinates which thereby prevent mouse tracking.
“It is inspired by recent research in adversarial machine learning, and has been implemented as a web browser extension, so that anyone can benefit from this work in practice,” explains Leiva. The web browser extension called MouseFaker is available on Github.
More about this over at TechXplore.
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