chapter  14
Organization, surveillance and the body: towards a politics of resistance
WithKirstie Ball
Pages 22

In autumn 2004 the UK government was engaged in debate about implementing a national identity card scheme featuring biometric data – fingerprints and iris scans – as the main authenticators of an individual’s identity, to be held in a computer chip on the card. Fear of crime and terrorism arguments were employed to support the policy, stating that an increased external security threat required higher levels of internal security. Civil libertarian groups such as Privacy International opposed the scheme on the grounds that placing higher stakes on individual identity would play into the hands of fraudsters who were able to replicate the cards. Moreover, data protection activists were concerned about the integrity of the databases that held this information. Questions concerning whether biometric identifiers were more or less likely to predict or control criminal behaviour, or whether they were likely to instigate new forms of crime, and drive criminal activity even further underground dominated public debate.