Copies without an Original: The Performativity of Biometric Bordering Technologies

Federica Frabetti, Eleanor Drage

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We analyse two examples of biometrics in civil registration and migration contexts (the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees’ voice biometry system and UK HMPO passport photo checker tool) to show how, rather than ‘recognising’ a person, biometrics creates a field of intelligibility within which the shifting positionalities of bodies are ‘stabilised’ and deemed recognisable. We show how the obfuscation of this process has had violent racialising and gendering effects on the bodies of AI participants. We present our performative approach as a strategic intervention at the intersections of AI ethics and biometrics in these contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCommunication and Critical/Cultural Studies
    Early online date30 Dec 2023
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Dec 2023


    • AI
    • biometrics
    • race
    • gender studies
    • performativity

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