Ethical Implications on Data Rights in the Future

Having just moved to Austin it felt like a right of passage to check out Austin City Limits. I’m not one for big crowds, but I did it regardless. I purchased my ticket via their online platform and waited for it to arrive in the mail. Upon receipt I got a rather colorful wristband, with a chip inside. Alongside it were instructions to plug my credit card information in for easy checkout at the festival, less lines, more time… Our recent discussions in AC4D’s newest ethics class really got me thinking.

For my presentation this week I wanted to imagine the AC4D class of 2020 at South by Southwest 2030. A future Austin, full of even more bike lanes and driverless cars, scooters are more commonplace and hopefully safer than ever. I imagine our class is in full swing of the massive event. Ride-sharing, purchasing, and swiping our way through the event. This new cashless experience at south by is nothing out of the ordinary in future Austin. My classmates and I have our financial information, government identification, and personal information baked into our personal devices. These devices grant us access to and from venues, enable us to purchase things, and allow us to verify our identity at event check-in’s. It’s simple, it’s seamless, it’s easy.

future austin

South by Southwest comes to an end, and we’re back to normalcy. People return to work, fly home, and continue school.

Just a week later the SXSW servers have been hacked and we get the email. Your data has been compromised. Our banking, government and personal information has been hacked and is out and amongst the dark forces of the internet to use it at will. What do you do?

I posed the class with the chance to save only one of the three options posed above, and to share a bit about why. No matter what option people choose there are a myriad of things that could prove problematic later down the line with their other pieces of information out in the ether.

General Data Protection Rights are present in Europe and enable a person to know where and why their data is being used or stored. Did anyone signing up for ACL wristbands understand where and why their data is being stored?