Our Biometric Future

Our Biometric Future

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Since the 1960s, a significant effort has been underway to program computers to a€œseea€ the human facea€”to develop automated systems for identifying faces and distinguishing them from one anothera€”commonly known as Facial Recognition Technology. While computer scientists are developing FRT in order to design more intelligent and interactive machines, businesses and states agencies view the technology as uniquely suited for a€œsmarta€ surveillancea€”systems that automate the labor of monitoring in order to increase their efficacy and spread their reach. Tracking this technological pursuit, Our Biometric Future identifies FRT as a prime example of the failed technocratic approach to governance, where new technologies are pursued as shortsighted solutions to complex social problems. Culling news stories, press releases, policy statements, PR kits and other materials, Kelly Gates provides evidence that, instead of providing more security for more people, the pursuit of FRT is being driven by the priorities of corporations, law enforcement and state security agencies, all convinced of the technologya€™s necessity and unhindered by its complicated and potentially destructive social consequences. By focusing on the politics of developing and deploying these technologies, Our Biometric Future argues not for the inevitability of a particular technological future, but for its profound contingency and contestability.A½iA¾ek uses the example of the VCR aficionado (the compulsive DVR user is even more apropos) who records hundreds of ... 36 What Van Oenen calls the a€œ interpassivizationa€ of labor involves the automation of both manual and mental activity.

Title:Our Biometric Future
Author: Kelly Gates
Publisher:NYU Press - 2011-01-23

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