A team of researchers at the University of Newcastle have revealed that they could produce a "keyboard profile" of someone with 95 percent accuracy after just 10 taps; they hope that this could help identify and stop paedophiles in their tracks.
They claim that they are able to identify the cultural background, sex and age of the typist and could potentially filter out perverts that pose as children in chat rooms or on instant messaging clients like Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger.
They timed and tracked volunteers who typed a password 400 times in a row. They found out that women tend to type quicker than men while the latter are a little more heavy handed.
The technique has been described by Phil butler, a former police chief inspector and the head of the university's Cyber crime and computer security department, as a "fantastic tool to aid intelligence gathering for crime-fighting agencies".
He added that they would like to look at various adaptations of the research for use in law enforcement, forensics and for companies trying to avoid fraud.
There's also talks about using it at cash points to prevent ATM fraud and the scientists have applied for a grant of £1 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to further their research.
It could potentially be used as an element during a court case on par with fingerprints or the lie detector although it would complement rather than replace the two. 95 percent accuracy means that in one out of 20 cases, the tests failed.
(The Shields Gazette)