So much for the "anonymity" of the web: Researchers have developed new internet security tools that reportedly can determine a person's gender, level of education, and whether two pieces of writing originated from the same person--all from a typing sample of a few hundred words.

The technology has important implications for helping to catch plagiarists or uncover pedophiles in chat rooms, its creators say--though others aren't so sure.

In 2003, researchers from the Illinois Institute of Technology and Bar-Ilan University in Israel developed a way to guess a person's...

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