Undetermined: A semi-academic exploration of the future of European data spaces via science fiction
This paper concerns the future — a scenario that is not so distant in time, as the future starts today. With the increasing datafication of our society and the approval of the European Union Data Governance Act that establishes conditions and safeguards to encourage the free flow and reuse of data for scientific, economic and societal progress, we are left wondering whether the existing challenges surrounding personal data management will be solved by then — or whether they will only be exacerbated. This sci-fi short story depicts a future where individuals, since a young age, question whether they still retain agency over their lives and their destinies, given that data-hungry personalized services surveil them extensively and steer their personal development. Returning to science fiction narratives to explore a societal issue at the edge of technology and law has a threefold purpose, in: (1) developing critical skills and exploring future consequences safely through the imagination; (2) fostering foresight and proactivity in policy-making; and (3) democratizing the debate about technological developments that concern us all. If this story depicts a desirable or undesirable future is left to the readers to assess.
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