Naomi Wolf draws attention to the IT developments underpinning face-recognition technology. This is but one of a set of new surveillance technologies made possible by the biosciences. The UK’s crime DNA database is the largest in the world, despite the European ruling it must remove the innocent and minors. Less well known is that the police can have access to the bioinformation held on the half-million recruited into the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council funded UK Biobank’s DNA records; or that the government has given access to NHS records without informed consent. Joining these are the rapidly advancing neurotechnologies of internal surveillance – reading minds and intentions through brain scanning and potentially intervening in them through transcranial magnetic stimulation. Although these bioinformation technologies sound like science fiction, they are being vigorously pursued by the US military’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Professor Hilary Rose, Guardian