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Loughborough To Lead International Identity Management Study
October 05, 2011
Loughborough University issued the following news release:
Professor Liesbet van Zoonen of Loughborough University and a team of colleagues from Dundee, Essex and Northumbria universities have received a 1.36m Pounds grant to examine taboos and desires around future technologies of ‘identity management’.
The three-year IMPRINTS project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). An additional grant has been awarded by the Department of Homeland Security in America to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to simultaneously conduct the study in the US.
IMPRINTS (Identity Management: Public Responses to Identity Technologies and Services) aims to assess how and why UK and US publics will engage with particular future practices, services and technologies of identity management, while resisting others.
Iris and full body scans, and face or voice recognition have already become well-known practice, but innovations like implantable chips, odour scans, online ‘object’-passwords and mobile identity sharing are on the horizon. It is unclear whether and why members of the public will embrace these innovations or reject them.
Professor Liesbet Van Zoonen, who holds the chair in Media and Communications at Loughborough University, explains:
“There is a peculiar paradox between the eager sharing of personal details on social network sites, and the deep anxieties about, for instance, biometric identification or a national identity card.
“In this project we aim to gain a better understanding of such anxieties and appetites, and understand the way citizens will respond to new identity management technologies, services and practices in order to promote trustworthy and pleasurable processes of identity verification.”
To achieve this understanding, researchers will work with stakeholders from civil society and government, security and commercial sectors in both countries.