Scenario: People interacting with other people on the basis of a body based or biometric identifier or authenticator

While, at present, we often recognise each other on the basis of physical characteristics, this form of ‘authentication’ is rarely objectified through biometric or other bodily devices.  An exception comes from do-it-yourself microchippers like Amal Graafstra or Nancy Nisbett, who experiment with RFID implants simply as a hobby, or to explore the implants’ effects on human interaction. Such experiments are also conducted to look back at surveillance camera’s (see also under the circle ‘interactions with organisations’).

What is expected or explored for the future

  • In the film Gattaca, a so-called ‘not-too-distant’ future is represented where people are defined at birth, on the basis of their DNA. The resulting classes of ‘valids’ (healthy high potentials) and ‘invalids’ (vulnerable to disease) don’t interact with each other; the love story in the film revolves around the barriers that a ‘valid’ has to overcome to accept her love for an ‘invalid’.
  • Facial recognition software (a biometric identifier or authenticator) is in the middle of experiments with social network profiles, to create, for instance, new possibilities for interactions between friends, friends-of-friends, or strangers. The dating site ‘Face-to-Facebook’ meant to connect people on the basis of their similar facial features had to close down due to legal issues with Facebook.
  • Notwithstanding the current examples and experiments, and the sci-fi predictions for the future, the scenario in which people interact with each other on the basis of body or biometric authenticators is not widely present.

Click on one of the concentric circles to find out what the future has in hold