March 21, 2007
Two private companies have announced plans to market software that purportedly allows users to detect deception using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). So far there is little proof that such high-tech, brain-scanning lie detectors would be any better than polygraph, which has been repeatedly shown to be ineffective. However, since fMRI scanners take a dynamic picture of the living brain, its use for lie detection and interrogation purposes raises the specter of the government attempting to deploy this technology to "read your mind," whether or not its efficacy has been proven.
In June of 2006, the ACLU held a public forum and filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, seeking an explanation of media reports that the federal government is pursuing the use of fMRI for lie detection and interrogation.
Watch the ACLU forum on Technology and the Future >>
Read the ACLU's FOIA request (PDF) >>
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