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MIT Researchers Can Take Your Pulse, Right Through the Walls 125

Posted by timothy
from the proof-of-life dept.
An anonymous reader writes MIT researchers develop technology that can monitor people's breathing and heart rate through walls. 'Their latest report demonstrates that they can now detect gestures as subtle as the rise and fall of a person's chest. From that, they can determine a person's heart rate with 99 percent accuracy. The research could be used for health-tracking apps, baby monitors, and for the military and law enforcement.' The report describes how they extended their through-wall technology to up to five users and how they track vital signs.
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MIT Researchers Can Take Your Pulse, Right Through the Walls

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  • So, who funded this? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mbone (558574) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @02:02AM (#47239307)

    I have read the paper [18.7.29.232] and thing that is noticeable for an academic paper is that there appears to be no acknowledgement of the source of funding, which leads me to wonder who is paying for this and why they want that link kept quiet.

  • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @02:26AM (#47239349)

    It's a losing battle, unfortunately. We can't remember one simple 2048-bit private key, we emit all varieties of radiation, we leave a literal trail of identifiable chemical signatures, we're susceptible to an enormous variety of attacks, have only a vague notion of what's going on around us (or, for that matter, inside us), have predictable needs and habits, share important details of our lives with others, and last but not least, are frequently willing to trade our privacy for a little convenience or money.

    In short: we're loud and messy, and trying to make a human invisible to the technology of today and tomorrow is ultimately futile. It's like DRM; the most you can do is make it slightly harder and impose laws declaring the water should stay in the sieve.

    Hopefully we'll wise up someday and stop caring about the pointless minutiae of each others' lives, and decide that as long as technological advance means we're heading for a panopticon anyway, it needs to be owned by all the people.

    Not holding my breath, though.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday June 15, 2014 @05:01AM (#47239609)

    So they'll use it anyway and then use 'parallel construction' to convict you.

    Nah. Been tried.

    Multiple cases, in California, New York, and other jurisdictions have all found the same way: it's illegal. The police can fuck off.

    A few years ago, ex-Texas-Ranger Barry Cooper and his fellow Kop Busters heard that IR scanning was happening in NYC, despite it having been ruled illegal without a warrant. They rented an apartment, bugged and alarmed it, rigged it up with an artificial Christmas tree and some grow lights (curtains all closed), and walked away. (But not far... they stayed out of the way in a nearby building.)

    When the cops busted in, they were greeted with automatic video cameras and a big sign that said, "You guys are BUSTED!"

    The video was even posted on the Internet. The PD got in trouble with the State.

The universe does not have laws -- it has habits, and habits can be broken.

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