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Title:Encoding the Body: Critically Assessing the Collection and Uses of Biometric Information
Author(s):Magnet, Shoshana Amielle
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Paula Treichler
Department / Program:Communications
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History of Science
Abstract:This dissertation investigates the origins and development of biometric technologies in Canada and the United States. Biometric technologies scan the body's biological information for the purposes of identification. They include digital fingerprinting, iris scanning and facial-recognition technology. I investigate the ways that policies governing the collection of biometric information understand biometrics as a communications technology---one capable of reading the body to communicate information between individuals and the state. I specifically consider the development of biometric technologies in three locations: their origins in law enforcement, their expansion to social assistance programs through the biometric fingerprinting of welfare recipients and the recent adoption of biometric passports at the Canada-US border. In doing so, I investigate questions about the relationship between new technologies, policing and surveillance, as well as the role of media institutions and industries in formulating information and communications policy. I examine texts including images of biometric technologies in media, film, television, as well as scientific studies and policy debates investigating the adoption of biometric technologies, in order to think critically about plans for their expansion.
Issue Date:2008
Description:311 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337855
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2008

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