Back to the Club's homepage

You & The Biometric Database -- Jonathan J. Klinger


In this talk, I shall discuss the use of biometrics for personal identification by governmental authorities: The establishment of biometric databases and the use of biometrics as unique identifiers against state actors and other establishments. My main hypothesis is that the use of biometrics is an apparatus for control that was first used on inmates, criminals and other risk groups, then conveyed to immigrants and other weak points in society. After this was concluded, then the application on the entire population was imminent.

I shall use Israel as a case study for this research. Israel has a vast census, which is quite different from other states and results from its history. Since the 1990s, the ideas of applying a central database was introduced to Israel, where it began by collecting DNA and Biometrics from prisoners and suspects, then to immigrants workers, and from 2009, a pilot relating to the entire population was enacted, which will soon commence a pilot.

The other thread of my hypothesis is the informatication of the person, by identifying him as no more than a record in a database, the person becomes no more than a number, and is treated as such.

Back to the Club's homepage