Thursday, June 15, 2017

No Choice

Design fiction by Sandy Claes and Hanna Johannsen

In the newly digitalized world, Sarah has been member of the “My privacy matters” action group, battling the right for being anonymous. Public transportation requires personal data access like position, address and travelling history. Therefore, she was designated to travel by foot. Unfortunately, while crossing a street, a speeding self-driving car did not recognize her as a human subject and drove over her foot, after which she was condemned using a wheelchair. She had to move from her apartment on the third floor to a more adapted room on the first floor. As she did not want to register this change of address through digital city services, she needed to go to city hall in person. After the great third world war, not many historic buildings had survived in the city, except for the 17th century old castle, up on a mountain peak. Here, the city council decided to install the city hall services as it gave a great view over the city. The city council also found it important that they create a nice and comfortable atmosphere in the city hall, as it is good promotion for the city and its residents. By recognizing wheel chair users, they redesigned adaptive architecture ramps to help less mobile persons into the city hall. However, users have to video tracked in order for them to be recognized as wheel chair users. They can give their consent by choosing the “YES, YOU CAN PROCESS MY DATA” entrance. Sarah, however, is still passionate as activist for “My privacy matters”, thereby still refusing to reveal her digital identity. So she takes the “NO, I DON’T WANT TO GIVE CONSENT” entrance, leading her into a separate corridor without video camera’s. Here, mostly illegal residents are waiting for their turn. One of them is lying on the ground, singing drinking songs, while occasionally taking a sip of a brown bag. Another one keeps giving her compliments, whistling, coming closer which makes her uncomfortable. In order to motivate herself, she takes a flyer of “My privacy matters” from her bag. Suddenly, a noise starts: BEEP BEEP BEEP!! The door opens.

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