8 votes

Scientific publishers consider installing spyware in university libraries to protect copyrights

3 comments

  1. [3]
    RNG
    Link
    This... feels a bit like a stretch to me. Is keyboard and mouse movement so unique that it can reliably identify a user in that large of a group? I ironically received numerous "red scare"-style...

    The speaker, Corey Roach, a security officer at the University of Utah, described a plug-in that could collect “biometric data, which can be things like how quick did they type, how do they move their mouse,” in order to distinguish and identify individual users, who are otherwise anonymized by university proxy servers.

    This... feels a bit like a stretch to me. Is keyboard and mouse movement so unique that it can reliably identify a user in that large of a group?

    But the October webinar was reflective of their newest tactic: arguing the shadow library does not merely undermine their profit model, but that its activities amount to state-sponsored cybercrime, and pose a security threat to universities.

    I ironically received numerous "red scare"-style alerts from this very site concerned with the threat to corporate IP from China.

    Those worries about the source aside, there does appear to be a valuable discussion regarding academic open access and the role of academic publishers in the 2020s.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      Yes

      This... feels a bit like a stretch to me. Is keyboard and mouse movement so unique that it can reliably identify a user in that large of a group?

      Yes

      5 votes
      1. RNG
        Link Parent
        So the article linked does indeed discuss "behavioral biometrics" like keyboard and mouse movement, but all of their real world examples are fairly standard: abnormal hours of use, abnormal...

        So the article linked does indeed discuss "behavioral biometrics" like keyboard and mouse movement, but all of their real world examples are fairly standard: abnormal hours of use, abnormal location, unrecognized device, and even discusses other forms of biometrics.

        Does anyone actually use this? Does anyone know of any library out there that identifies unique visitors at least in part by "behavioral biometrics?" (sans location, device, hours of operation)

        I'm willing to concede that I'm not an expert here, but if one could reliably identify users via these methods, wouldn't that have a more immediate benefit to ad networks that are currently using far more complicated and costly measures to measure conversion and supply relevant ads?

        3 votes