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Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance (Critical Cultural Communication) Hardcover – 25 Apr 2011


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"Gates deftly explores the cultural work performed by facial recognition technologies, and in so doing demonstrates considerable skill in the critical analysis of emergent technologies. This book represents a significant contribution to our understanding about the ongoing elaboration of surveillance society throughout the globe." Anne Balsamo, University of Southern California, author of Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women and Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work "A groundbreaking study. Our Biometric Future considers facial recognition technology through its wide range of political entanglements, such as post-9/11 security measures, the management of urban populations in commercial districts, and self-representation in online social networking sites. Across these contexts, Gates shows how facial recognition's political effects have developed in spite of the fact that the technology does not actually work very well. Written with style and wit, Our Biometric Future will resonate with readers in cultural studies, new media, science and technology studies, and anyone interested in surveillance, privacy and security in contemporary life." Jonathan Sterne, McGill University, author of The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction and MP3: The Meaning of a Format "Until last summer, hi-tech riots - broadcast on YouTube and organised by BlackBerry - were mostly the preserve of enterprising dissidents in Iran and China. But in June hordes of ice hockey fans in Vancouver, outraged by the local team's loss to a Boston rival, filmed themselves smashing cars and burning shops. Then it happened here. The crackdowns that follow such riots are equally hi-tech. In both Britain and Canada ordinary members of the public set up Facebook groups to share pictures and videos from the riots, using Twitter to name and identified perpetrators and alert the police. This was cyber-vigilantism at its most creative...impressive book" - Evgeny Morozov, London Review of Books, April 5th 2012

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Excellent discussion of biometrics from the point of view of a media and communications scholar 4 Dec 2014
By Jill Walker Rettberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an engaging look at an increasingly important topic in our current society. Gates sees biometrics from the perspective of a communications and media scholar who is interested in representation, and does a good job of tracing the histories of biometrics and discussing the limitations and affordances of this technology, which we tend to accept as objective. I particularly liked her point about facial recognition technology shifting the role of the human face from communication to an indexical sign of identity - as well as (with expression analysis) a site of affect. This is an important book as we see this technology slipping into so many levels of society, taken for granted.
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