National Identity Infrastructures: Lessons from the United Kingdom

  • Aaron K. Martin
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 386)


Despite growing interest in the technologies of biometrics such as fingerprinting, facial recognition and iris scanning, there are too few in-depth case studies exploring their deployment on a national scale. This paper offers a qualitative analysis of biometric technologies by examining the National Identity Scheme – a recently abandoned United Kingdom government-sponsored program for a national identity card infrastructure. Leveraging organizing visions theory, it focuses in particular on government discourses about implementing a national infrastructure for biometrics. The discussion reflects on how the vision for implementing biometrics in the Scheme unravelled and tries to explain the course of these discourses in the political context of the UK.


biometrics case study research e-government failure identification technology organizing visions surveillance 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron K. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceInformation Systems and Innovation GroupUnited Kingdom

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