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Databite No. 46: Malavika Jayaram

Biometric technologies and power


July 16, 2015 - 12:00 pm

Data & Society
36 West 20th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY, 10011

Databites are Data & Society's weekly lunch conversations focused on unresolved questions and timely topics of interest to our community. To request an invitation, please email events at data society dot net.

Malavika Jayaram on biometric technologies and power:

The growth of the Identity State is premised on the administrative fantasy that citizens can be grasped, fixed and rendered stable in the state’s imagination. Biometric technologies are seen as core to this act of fixation, despite criticisms about the instability of the body, the racialized unevenness that these techniques embody, and the normalization of surveillance and social sorting that they embed into daily practices. Malavika will use the world’s largest biometrics identity database, the Aadhaar project in India, to unpack certain techno-utopian narratives in the developing world and describe the negotiations and hacks by which the subjects/objects of surveillance upend and disrupt power imbalances.