Brainwaves could be used to identify people, according to new research by Spanish and American universities.Researchers at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language in Spain and New York's Binghamton University believe that unique signals generated by our brains could be used instead of passwords, PINs and tokens.The teams worked by recording the brain signals of 45 volunteers as they read a list of 75 acronyms. The researchers then found that by studying how brains responded to these enabled them to determine participants' identities with 94% accuracy, reported New Scientist.The signals being used for identity are generated when brains access semantic memories related to a word. This differs from episodic memories, which relate to experiences. A semantic memory is simply the meaning we associate with a word and shouldn't change over time.The study, from Neurocomputing, is titled – appropriately enough – Brainprint.Blair Armstrong of the Basque Center told New Scientist that the technique could be developed into a more personal, harder to compromise alternative to fingerprint recognition or iris scanning in security systems. He refers to a case in Malaysia in 2005, where carjackers cut off the owner's fingertip so that they could trigger the car's fingerprint-activated starter. “You can't have your brain cut off,” says Armstrong.