|Title of host publication||TwentyForty: Utopias for a Digital Society|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Publisher||Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2020|
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Other chapter contribution
Building upon current evidence, this story foretells the future of a society increasingly divided between individuals who value privacy and those who place greater value on other goods such as freedom of expression. It envisages a world in which there is such widespread disagreement about whether an individual can expect to maintain their privacy that a radical solution needs to be introduced.
This story is set in 2040, in a society is comprised of two distinct factions, Privacy Haves and Privacy Havenots. Entirely different laws apply to the two groups, recognising that whilst Privacy Haves wish to preserve their privacy, Privacy Havenots place greater value on their freedom to express themselves. A ‘Privacy Have’ can thus reasonably expect that details of their life will not be publicly available online. They expect to be told when an organisation acquires their personal information and to be able to choose whether and how their information is used. A ‘Privacy Havenot’ by contrast knows that at a click of a button details of their entire life, their family, their relationships, even images of themselves as a foetus, may be revealed. A Privacy Havenot will have been brought up to expect their information to be held and used by businesses and governments and welcomes the income they earn from selling their information.
Through a schoolgirl’s diary entries which explore how society became divided, and what it means to be a Privacy Have, this story challenges the reader to consider how they share information about their own lives and the lives of other family members, and to reflect upon the way that governments and corporations use individuals’ information. It asks the reader to consider whether they would be a Privacy Have or a Privacy Havenot, and whether ultimately they value their privacy.