Soldiers keep their identities hidden


Due to the increasing acceleration of society, the processes for identifying the individual are becoming increasingly technical ...

Means of identification

"Absolute identification is a tempting idea, but unfortunately it has a fundamental flaw: these methods do not identify people, but bodies." [1] (Simson Garfinkel, author of "Database Nation")

Due to the increasing acceleration of society, the processes for identifying the individual are becoming increasingly technical. On the one hand, traditional bureaucratic identification technologies can be avoided - passports and signatures can be forged and data can be manipulated. On the other hand, bureaucratic identification technologies are also very slow and cannot keep up with computerization. The solution to this problem is now preferred by industry and governments in biometrics: automatic identification through the digital measurement of body features that are different for each person: such as the iris or fingerprints.

Means of identification in history
In biometric technologies, the subject is reduced to its physical, inalienable properties. The subject is only a subject insofar as it can be made the object of measurement. As soon as there is resistance to this process, which results from the striving for measurability, personal disadvantages have to be accepted. Biometrics holds out the prospect of the dream of completely secure identity control.

The question of identification is not limited to the modern state. The Babylonians and Chinese used clay fingerprints to identify writers, while the Romans were already systematically comparing manuscripts.

Identification is particularly important in the military. The first steps soldiers are subjected to when they join the military include identification processes and the collection of body measurements. These measurements are cataloged, combined with other data and result in the so-called data body of the soldiers. When the data bodies are in the possession of the state, the soldiers are no longer able to move freely within their social structure, but are dependent on the disciplinary structure of the military institutions. The military institutions define the soldiers' social existence.
It must be taken into account that in modern forms of society the military and civil areas overlap. The ambivalence of highly developed technologies means that it is often no longer possible to clearly distinguish whether a technology is used for democratic or authoritarian purposes. The measurement of physical properties and the creation of data bodies are used in all areas of modern society.