Pop Cultural Identity Management- The Intersection of Pop Culture and Biometrics

There is nothing interesting about a locked door.

There is a coolness factor in biometric technology and it doesn’t come from algorithms, cloud technology, certifications or anti-spoofing. Much like the unhealthy act of smoking, or the destructive acts of gun violence, people are exposed to biometrics most of all through the media (albeit in a different manner than the two examples I just gave) – particularly fictional film and television.

This is a bit of a double edged sword. When it comes to familiarizing the consumer world with the basic concept of biometrics, nothing has gone as far as movies like Stephen Spielberg’s Minority Report (2002), or Spike Jonze’s Her (2013). Where this hurts the industry is that in terms of an exciting and dynamic story, there is nothing interesting about a successfully locked door, or an unhackable account, so very often biometrics only ever show up in pop culture when they fail to protect an important plot point

This blog is going to be a place where, twice per month, I take these points of intersection between biometrics and pop culture and place them under real life critical industry scrutiny. In some cases this will be a simple myth-debunking, in others it will be the examination of a particularly good example of how biometrics can be used. Sometimes we can learn from how this technology is used and abused in the sci-fi futures or alternate presents we see on the big and small screens, that’s also something you will find here.

As this is a topic that is sure to get you all thinking of your favorite representations of identity management tech in the media – and because there are so many and I want this to be a rich discussion – be sure to let me know what pop culture biometric examples you would like to see explored here by contacting me through our “About Us” page with the phrase “Biometrics & Culture Blog” somewhere in the subject line. As always make sure you are a key part of continuing the discussion by findBIOMETRICS on Twitter and sharing the posts you most like.

There is a correlation between the media’s portrayal of the technology we talk about every day on findBIOMETRICS and how that technology is perceived by the world at large. It’s time to take a good look at those two viewpoints in relation to each other and see what we can learn from their intersection.

April 11, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter