Second Generation Biometrics and the Future of Geosurveillance: A Minority Report on FAST

Keywords: surveillance, privacy, future attribute screening technology, second generation biometrics, security

Abstract

Biometrics are technologies that measure the body and are typically seen as existing for the purposes of identity verification. However, they are rapidly moving towards a new paradigm of behavioural analysis and prediction. The Department of Homeland Security’s Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) is one example of this shift. In this article, we use FAST to explore the implications of new biometric technologies for geosurveillance. We argue that second generation biometrics mark a major shift in the application of geosurveillance due to their spatial and topological nature, and that they are motivated in part by a desire to make bodies more legible. More importantly, we argue that second generation biometrics both intensify and extend geosurveillance of already marginalized bodies. Finally, we call for more geographical research into biometrics given their rapid development and oncoming proliferation.

Author Biographies

David Swanlund, Simon Fraser University

PhD Student, Department of Geography

Nadine Schuurman, Simon Fraser University
Professor, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University

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Published
2018-10-04
How to Cite
Swanlund, David, and Nadine Schuurman. 2018. “Second Generation Biometrics and the Future of Geosurveillance: A Minority Report on FAST”. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 17 (4), 920-38. https://acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1622.
Section
Research