Seeing like a citizen: Understanding public views of biometrics

Norval, Aletta and Prasopoulou, Elpida (2019) Seeing like a citizen: Understanding public views of biometrics. Political Studies, 67 (2). pp. 367-387. ISSN 1467-9248

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Despite its controversial history and the significant diffusion of biometrics from institutional settings such as border control and policing, to everyday use in commerce and personal devices, biometrics is now being repositioned as a neutral means to safeguard identity in the digital world. Given this proliferation of uses we argue that understanding perceptions of biometrics amongst ordinary citizens is necessary and long overdue. Situating our analysis in the wider context of the views of governmental and biometric industry experts, we deploy Q-methodology in combination with political discourse analysis to examine the range of positions that have crystallized in ordinary discourse on issues arising from the use of biometrics for identification. Our analysis analysis uncovers four distinctive configurations that put into question a simplistic trade-off between security and privacy that dominates government and industry discourse, and underlines the importance of going beyond a narrow view of technology ‘users’ to understand the political and social concerns that arise with and shape the uses of technology in contemporary society

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: biometrics, political discourse analysis, q-method, digital citizenship
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Prof Aletta Norval
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 08:42
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:55

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