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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Biometric State: The Promise and Peril of Digital Government in the New South Africa
Author:Breckenridge, Keith
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
information technology
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057070500109458
Abstract:In the political aftershocks of September 11, 2001, powerful interests in the United States and Britain have proposed the development of national systems of biometric identification and registration. For much of the last century, South Africans have lived with such a biometric order, and in recent years the democratic State has begun to invest in a massive scheme of digital biometrics for the delivery of benefits and the elimination of fraud. The Home Affairs National Identification System, HANIS, has been preceded by a massive project of digital biometric grant delivery that affects millions of people throughout the country. These systems are changing the nature of the State, and the relationship between private individuals and the commercial domain. For the countries considering a move from the decentralized order of paper-based identification to the new world of digital biometrics, there is much to be learned from a close study of contemporary South Africa. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]