Framing Citizens Identities - The Construction of Personal Identities in New Modes of Government

FRAMING CITIZEN'S IDENTITIES, THE CONSTRUCTION OF PERSONAL IDENTITIES IN NEW MODES OF GOVERNMENT IN THE NETHERLANDS, S. Van der Hof, R.E. Leenes, S. Fennell, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2010

Posted: 19 Mar 2011

See all articles by Simone van der Hof

Simone van der Hof

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Ronald E. Leenes

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society; Tilburg Law School; Tilburg University

Simone Fennell-van Esch

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

The image of citizens (identity) plays a key role in citizen and government relationships and identifiability is perceived relevant in many contexts of public administration. This is particularly the case where citizens can exercise rights and claim benefits, and for various purposes, like administration and registration, public safety, security, general law enforcement, policy-making, citizen mobility, and, more generally, to exercise control. Citizen identities as constructed and maintained by government are changing in the information age: they become ever richer and more complete. Information from different sources is linked together to form comprehensive accounts of individuals. Simple records pertaining to clients or citizens are increasingly enriched by other data to form more complete pictures of the individuals involved. Up to now, this mainly concerned data provided by the individuals (the data subjects) themselves, or on the interpretation or decision of the record keepers (the data controllers). More and more personal data is and will be processed from other sources, as a result of new technologies and applications, like Radio Frequency Identification, biometrics, Location-Based Services, profiling, data mining and ubiquitous computing. This trend includes the processing of relatively new kinds of personal data, such as location and behavioural data, and the identifiability of more objects and persons because of an increased use of unique identifying numbers. Additionally, personal data is stored more extensively, for example, as a result of camera surveillance, Internet use and Digital Rights Management. Moreover, data becomes increasingly accessible as a result of digitalisation, linking and automatic recognition as well as technology convergence and tracking and tracing (behaviour of) individuals from a distance. Increased personal-data intensity and sophisticated methods of analysing data, like data mining, lead to more complex identities of individuals. What these identities amount to is relatively unclear, as is their impact on policy making, execution and citizens.

This research report provides a conceptual framework for ‘identity’ and other related concepts, and explores, both theoretically and empirically, how socio-technological, policy and legal developments change the construction of citizen identities and, hence, citizen and government relations.

Keywords: Identity, Citizens, Surveillance, Government, Risk society

Suggested Citation

van der Hof, Simone and Leenes, Ronald E. and Fennell-van Esch, Simone, Framing Citizens Identities - The Construction of Personal Identities in New Modes of Government (2010). FRAMING CITIZEN'S IDENTITIES, THE CONSTRUCTION OF PERSONAL IDENTITIES IN NEW MODES OF GOVERNMENT IN THE NETHERLANDS, S. Van der Hof, R.E. Leenes, S. Fennell, Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1785500

Simone Van der Hof (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.linkedin.com/vanderhof

Ronald E. Leenes

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society

NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

Simone Fennell-van Esch

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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