>New Lie Detectors – Same Old Problems?

>David Pescovitz over at BoingBoing blogs about new lie detectors based on facial blood flow.

This is fascinating technology, but I find the claims rather hyped. The scientists interviewed in the NewScientist article say things like:

“You can double your respiration rate or make it zero by holding your
breath. But no one I know of knows how to change the heating of minute areas
of the face by choice.”


“We think these responses are automatic and obligatory,” he says. “And it
happens very early. We think it might, in fact, happen before you’re even aware
of it.”

Of course, galvanic skin resistance changes are automatic, and people previously thought they were obligatory. But they’re consciously changed by anyone who plays Wild Divine.

And few would suspect that people could voluntarily alter brain wave patterns, but it’s being tested to treat fibromyalgia.

I don’t want to be too hard on these technologies, but given the past history of mis-use of polygraphs, I think we need to demand a high level of proof of any new lie detecting technology before we allow it to become a standard for making decisions about people’s lives.