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In recent years, the use of brain scanning technology has become commonly used out of the hospitals. Various hi-tech brain imaging techniques, used before in medical diagnosis and treatment only, are now commonly used in marketing and advertising, and even in criminal cases to determine brain deficiencies or whether someone is lying.

Scottish politicians are now calling for a debate to make sure people are protected against the potential misuse of the technology. The call comes after a conference during the summer raised fears about the accuracy and ethical issues linked to new imaging techniques.

They want to regulate the technology to protect Scots amid concern that the emerging uses of the scans could threaten privacy and civil liberties, as well as pose health risks.

The technology has advanced to the point where, when viewed by special scanners, different areas of the brain “light up” when they function, with this knowledge interpreted to “read” someone’s thoughts.

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