Are you documented? 1

In the future: You will be able to rewind your whole life. Everything you have ever done, ever said, ever seen and ever heard will be reviewable, analysable, searchable and last, but not least, available.

We are getting closer to something a lot of people are calling the documented generation. Even today most of what we do is documented in some way or other. I myself have used my archive of digital images gathered over several years to remember when and where I visited some place. I’ve tagged all my images to simplify finding and searching, but I welcome the day this is an automatic process.

Most of your financial transactions are documented and traceable today when you use a debit or credit card for paying. Often you even use a membership card to get other benefits as well.

Most of your movements are traceable today, whether you use a car with an Autopass chip to pass trough highway toll boots, or you pass traffic cameras that watch the traffic. If you fill gas at a gas station you pay using a credit or debit card. When you go by train you use an electronic train ticket containing an RFID chip. When you go by plane you pay by card and you have to show a picture ID before boarding the plane.

Actually you are filmed by surveillance cameras almost everywhere, and most of what you do at work is logged on your computer.

All of your life is already stored on a plethora of computers all over the world and the internet.

These are known issues and something we have seen emerging over several years. Science Fiction authors have suggested this for years and the last decade these issues have been and are discussed in mainstream literature and media as well. And this is only the beginning.

What this will have to say for us personally, for our security against ID-theft and against the misuse of personal information is probably something a lot of people already have felt.
As long as our information is as available as it is, id-theft and misuse of information will become more and more common. The only way to prevent this is to change the routines and the systems available for those that need to verify our identity. They need a more secure way to verify that we are who we say we are, and they need to increase their efforts for protecting our data.

The way technology improves and evolves makes the possibilities for tracking and storing all kinds of information better each day. A new generation of people where everything they do is documented, from the day they are born until the day they die, is not that far away. The documented generation!

I would venture the guess that very soon we will see solutions in the consumer market that enables us to document events while they happen in new and exciting ways. Things like video-goggles that store everything you see, hear and say while attending a meeting or conference. The information might be stored on small, flexible, secure and large storage devices or directly on network storages units. This information may even be integrated with GPS-data and other environment information like weather or temperature, or with auto tagging features that adds other automatic metadata to the different parts of the recording. Face-, object and speech recognition will be automated and stored together with video and sound. And maybe not that much further in the future, this might be available in a 3D video with better than HD-quality.

The benefits that come with this kind of easily available information will of course be both a curse and a boon for us users. I often wonder where I met some people for the first time or what some customer said about some technical problem. Together with the stored information and multimedia we will probably be able to cross-reference our ”life-stream” with all other kind of information. With automated image and speech recognition everything we do, experience and say will be searchable and analysable.

What do you think? How soon will this be available? In 15 years? In 10 or 20 years? Will it be possible to rewind you whole life?

And as a small idea: When will we see the possibility for creating alternate experiences that makes it look like you have led a more exciting life than you really have? Will we see jamming equipment for jamming people from recording you on their life-streams? If you have an idea, please add a comment below.

PS: Yes I am aware of this little thing from the US, but I am saying that people are willingly going to do this just because they can.

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One thought on “Are you documented?

  • Lila Ramos

    I got a link to this web page from Themelis Cuiper’s SocialGarden Biz streams of PR & seo – so you must be doing a very good job as he provides a bookmark to you! b-)