Anonymity: Your Body Stored For Future Reference

Security equates to big bucks. City of Vancouver for example, spends more money on cops than anything else on the books. 2010 Winter Olympics, for example, spent $1b on security for the event, and we all thought that was overboard. But then G20 in Toronto surprised us even more – apparently, there is gold in ‘them hills – with its whopping $1.2b spent on security for a 3 DAY EVENT!

Either there is a war that we’re preparing for, or the pursuit of securitization is taking our intelligence for granted. Either way, since the 2001 events such as: G. W. Bush elected, plains crashing into Pentagon, Twin Towers, etc…those in the industrial-military complex have made a pretty penny selling security as the recent events prove that the consultants and suppliers pretty much function by being handed a blank cheque for their efforts.

Apart from money, we’ve been parting with personal biometric information at every nook, cranny, and corner.

While Tweeting about our daily bread, Facebook(ing), peeing in a cup, being harassed at the border, and Foursquare-ing our movements, there is little that is left of our sense of selves outside the cybersphere, or better yet, the security apparatus.

The recent introduction of body scanners at the airports caused a good deal of controversy – not because of the potential invasion of our privacy, but rather our collective sense of shyness – we are, collectively speaking, squeamish about our naked bodies. Nudity somehow, hits a nerve.

(This does not mean though that we are suddenly opposed to strip and cavity searches. Innocent until proven guilty does not apply to suspects who are submitted to this rather humiliating and painful process.)

But the body scanners are coming back into controversy corner, because despite the initial promises: genitals are to be blurred, bodies shown do not display full details, images to be immediately erased…as it turns out, that was a lie.

In US, recent survey of these handy scanners, revealing all bits and pieces, including potential contraband and weapons (beware of hair gel!) has also found that Federal Bureau has not quite complied with its initial statements. The Electronic Privacy Information Center released a finding: “approximately 35,314 images…[are] stored on the Brijot Gen2 machine” currently used in Florida federal courthouse.

Furthermore, the images are often stored and then sent to the manufacturer. Great! That way, your personal information, such as detailed minutiae about your height, weight, and those pesky flesh folds, can be now considered to be privately owned by the manufacturer.

Say cheese! [via cnet]