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Atelier 6 - G. POPESCU
Risk management strategies associated with the quest to securitize transnational mobility have triggered a technological race to embed borders into the human body. The belief is that mobile risks can be estimated from mobile bodies and efficiently eliminated along the way, so that traffic flows are not disrupted at the border. Accordingly, bodies are imagined as spaces to inscribe borders on. This logic of power has adopted a view predominant in natural sciences that sees the body as a material object that can be rendered digitally knowable with the help of technology. Biometric technologies, among others, are used to acquire comprehensive knowledge about every mobile body even before it crosses state borders. Then, these bodily data are used to classify people in terms of good versus bad mobility in order to produce categories that are amenable to risk contingency calculus. In this way, knowledge of the body results in power over the body. This is, at the same time, power over the most intimate and mobile of spaces. A closer examination reveals that such logic of spatial control tends to imagine border automation as panacea for reconciling unfettered mobility and territorial security. Biometric technology is understood as a tool that would allow predicting future threats and threatening behavior. Contrary to claims that digital border technologies simply aid human decision-making, the manner in which they are implemented suggests that border automation aims to assume self decision-making capabilities that diminish human involvement in the act of bordering. In this context, it is important to understand if biometric bordering can reduce uncertainty to make life more secure or if it is creating more uncertainty making life more precarious.