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The Future Is Now: Biometric Information and Data Privacy

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Science fiction enthusiasts might remember 2002’s Minority Report, in which facial recognition technology was used to identify people as they moved about a city. The purpose? Targeted advertising. Fans may also remember 1997’s Gattaca, in which biometric data was used to secure access to an aerospace corporation’s campus, as well as to “sort” individuals into their appropriate professions, akin to the way that young wizards are sorted into appropriate houses in J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts. In the Gattaca world, though, sorting was based on a dystopic genetic determinism, where blood, urine, and hair samples served to keep people in their places. Once limited to the realm of science fiction, we are increasingly encountering biometric systems in the real world, whether or not we are ready to navigate them.

Antitrust, Vol. 31, No. 3, Summer 2017. © 2017 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission.

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