Phone app companies gather so much information about users they will soon be able to sell details based on your brainwaves, experts predict

Information collected from apps could be sold to companies based on signals given off by brainwaves, experts have predicted.

Information collected from apps could be sold to companies based on signals given off by brainwaves, experts have predicted

Brain-computer interfaces have been widely used for medical and research purposes since the 1920s, primarily in patients with paralysis.

But as the technology becomes cheaper it has broken out of the lab and into the consumer app world, with a burgeoning market for devices, including games, self-monitoring tools, and touch-free keyboards.

The interfaces work by recording brain activity and transmitting information to a computer, Slate reports.

Electroencephalography (EEG), is the most common form and is typically used via a headset with a small number of electrodes placed on different parts of the skull.

For medical and research purposes, scientists are able to interpret signals from the patients’ brains and relay messages to other devices such as artificial limbs, wheelchair, or voice box.

It can also detect electrical signals made by brainwaves, monitoring attention levels and emotional state, Sean Vitka, a law student at Boston College Law School and Grady Johnson of the Open Technology Institue write.

In the last few years, the cost of EEG devices has dropped considerably, with a consumer headset available for around £65 ($100).

Car manufacturers are also exploring the use of BCIs to detect drivers’ tiredness levels and improve reaction times.

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