App Stores for the Brain: Privacy & Security in Brain-Computer Interfaces

IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Science, Technology and Engineering, pp. 1-7, 2014

IEEE Technology & Society Magazine, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 32-39, 2015

University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2788104

8 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2016

See all articles by Tamara Bonaci

Tamara Bonaci

University of Washington, Department of Electrical Engineering

Ryan Calo

University of Washington - School of Law; Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society; Yale Law School Information Society Project

Howard Chizeck

University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering

Date Written: May 23, 2014

Abstract

An increasing number of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are being developed in medical and nonmedical fields, including marketing, gaming and entertainment industries. BCI-enabled technology carries a great potential to improve and enhance the quality of human lives. It provides people suffering from severe neuromuscular disorders with a way to interact with the external environment. It also enables a more personalized user experience in gaming and entertainment.

These BCI applications are, however, not without risk. Established engineering practices set guarantees on performance, reliability and physical safety of BCIs. But no guarantees or standards are currently in place regarding user privacy and security. In this paper, we identify privacy and security issues arising from possible misuse or inappropriate use of BCIs. In particular, we explore how current and emerging non-invasive BCI platforms can be used to extract private information, and we suggest an interdisciplinary approach to mitigating this problem. We then propose a tool to prevent this side-channel extraction of users’ private information. This is a first step towards making BCI-enabled technologies secure and privacy preserving.

Keywords: Neural Engineering, Brain Spyware, Brain Malware, Neuroethics, Neurosecurity

Suggested Citation

Bonaci, Tamara and Calo, Ryan and Chizeck, Howard, App Stores for the Brain: Privacy & Security in Brain-Computer Interfaces (May 23, 2014). IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Science, Technology and Engineering, pp. 1-7, 2014; IEEE Technology & Society Magazine, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 32-39, 2015; University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2788104. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2788104

Tamara Bonaci

University of Washington, Department of Electrical Engineering ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Ryan Calo (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.washington.edu/directory/profile.aspx?ID=713

Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Yale Law School Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Howard Chizeck

University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States
206-221-3591 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ee.washington.edu/faculty/chizeck/

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