26C3 - 26C3 1.15

26th Chaos Communication Congress
Here be dragons


Research on the consequences of trusting in the decisions of machines and their disconnection from human responsibility. Main object of research: digitalized nations and biometric borders.

The paper (German) tries to explain in a language for non-technicians how the biometric border control system in Europe is changing the approach to politics of controlling national populations with a special focus on dividing in people who are identified as having a right to access a nation and in the others who are foreigners by referring to biological characteristics. There is a switch in the question who is responsible and who is the authority because a machine SEEMS to be more reliable than a human being and this is the same fake belief in an objective authority that is a motor of how control and internalized control is working psychologically. So even if the algorithms are questioned and empirical studies reveal bad FMRs, FNMRs, FARs and FRRs arguments on technical malfunctions are mainly used to improve the controlling technique - last example: Richard Rinkens, Biometric Matching System Manager in the EU-development of the Visa Information System VIS demands as a consequence of the easy hackability of biometric fingerprint systems " "Multi-modal, high-quality Biometrics .... in central databases." (http://www.heise.de/ct/meldung/BIOSIG-2009-Auf-dem-Weg-zur-zentralen-biometrischen-Buergerdatenbank-789228.html - German). We cannot only criticize that technical controlling softwares are not working as their developers promise we should also wonder if the main problem is the hope that a perfect system of control can be created and that the whole industry is built on this religious thought.