1 The Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University2 Interkulturelle studier, Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University
new and re-structuring technology of government of mobility?
Biometric identifiers (finger prints, face scans, iris scans etc.) have increasingly become a key element in technology of EU border and migration management. SIS II, EURODAC and VIS are centralized systems that contain fingerprints of different groups of non-EU citizen, and the biometric identifier is stored in order to link a specific body to specific information related to status (asylum seeker, entry banned, convicted etc.). Finger prints are also integrated in passports in the EU, but this biometric information is restricted to establish only the link between the body and the passport. This paper asks if and how biometric techniques are the basis of a re-structuring of management of migration and mobility: Is the suggestion of biometric identifiers reflecting the withdrawal from the principle of rights applied to human beings as an abstract of the universal individual all being equal, to the (re)introduction the concept of rights being engraved in your body, depended first and foremost on one’s birth, kinship and geography ? The paper will discuss biometric technology in a historical context and explore the apparent biometric divide between citizens and migrants, the latter positioned and managed technologically as risks through surveillance and storage of data, whereas citizens are managed as holders of access to privileges. The technique however of both circuits is using bodily coded information through fingerprints and emphasizes the general tendency of ‘securitization of identity’ (Rose 1999, 2000) not only in Europe or the US.