By Kelly A. Gates
Because the Nineteen Sixties, an important attempt has been underway to software desktops to “see” the human face—to improve computerized platforms for opting for faces and distinguishing them from one another—commonly often called Facial popularity expertise. whereas laptop scientists are constructing FRT on the way to layout extra clever and interactive machines, companies and states companies view the expertise as uniquely suited to “smart” surveillance—systems that automate the hard work of tracking on the way to raise their efficacy and spread
Tracking this technological pursuit, Our Biometric destiny identifies FRT as a major instance of the failed technocratic method of governance, the place new applied sciences are pursued as shortsighted suggestions to advanced social difficulties. Culling information tales, press releases, coverage statements, PR kits and different fabrics, Kelly Gates offers proof that, rather than delivering extra safety for extra humans, the pursuit of FRT is being pushed through the priorities of organizations, legislations enforcement and country safety enterprises, all confident of the technology’s necessity and unhindered via its advanced and in all probability damaging social outcomes. via targeting the politics of constructing and deploying those applied sciences, Our Biometric destiny argues no longer for the inevitability of a specific technological destiny, yet for its profound contingency and contestability.
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Extra info for Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance
In this way, the technology promises to function like other forms of psychological assessment—as a technique of subjectification, a means of applying normalizing judgments to individual behaviors in order to shape or direct those behaviors in particular ways. Like earlier applications of photography to the analysis of the facial expressions, automated facial expression analysis is intimately connected to the social regulation of affect, and to the corresponding project of “making up people,”56 marking out the parameters of normalcy and establishing a set of prescriptions for conduct, including the range of appropriate emotional responses to the world and the ways those responses are enacted through the face.
The idea that “direct person-to-person recognition” represented banks’ “most secure method” of retail customer identification is at odds with the historical record, given that “depersonalization” was part of the very process of formation of modern financial institutions. ”56 Coming more than a hundred years later, digital biometric identification would not be a matter of correcting a brand new problem of trust just now being introduced by the computerization of banking. 38 | Facial Recognition Technology But nor was the turn to biometrics in the realm of finance simply a matter of upgrading identification systems to meet the demands of naturally evolving industry infrastructures and practices.
The primary aim of these systems would be to deliver concrete, practical benefits in the form of more accurate, effective, ubiquitous systems of facial identification that operated automatically, in real time, and at a distance. Although they seemed to simply recognize people the way most humans do in their everyday lives—by looking at one another’s faces—facial recognition systems in fact promised to enable more effective institutional and administrative forms of identification, social classification, and control.