Wearing Someone Else’s Face: Biometric Technologies, Anti-spoofing and the Fear of the Unknown

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Spoofing denotes attempts to cheat biometric technologies with artefacts (e.g. fake fingers, masks). This way of circumventing biometric systems has recently generated great interest in the line of work known as ‘anti-spoofing’, which is responsible for developing counter measures. Part of the work of biometric laboratories revolves around identifying imaginable spoofs and spoofers and developing technologies that can detect real from fake bodies. Based on fieldwork among researchers in a biometric lab, at international conferences where policy-makers, security officials and industry discuss biometric technologies, the article shows how the figure of the spoofer epitomizes certain concerns and brings with it particular types of practices and threat scenarios. Biometric technologies, it is argued, are constantly changing shape in response to the imagined, potential threats embodied by the spoofer in,
for example, state security contexts and at borders, where fears of the potential
consequences of uncontrolled migration, terrorism and global crime prevail
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnos. Journal of Anthropology
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas

  • Biometric technologies, laboratories, spoofing, masks, face recognition

ID: 237104376