The Guguniverse

The right to be forgotten

History would not be worth much, if it didn’t register everything, everywhere. That included, of course, people.

While being seen and heard all the time was for some a dream come true, for others, it was hell. The Human Data Corporation added some privacy protection to History, but it only restricted its replaying, that is, looking at it; they did not limit who gets registered. Everybody was included.

Parts of the population protested against their every action, word, and movement being recorded for posterity. As History expanded its geographical reach, and more people were captured by it, these protests turned into resistance. Civil rights movements mobilized thousands in capitals worldwide, while activists engaged in acts civil disobedience, like gluing themselves to servers in data centers, or hacking into them and deleting parts of History.

But those were just minor setbacks. Governments were concerned about the potential impact that an incomplete History would have on the economy, so instead of defending the rights of citizens to privacy, they repressed the protests.

Violent clashes led to the establishment of “no recording zones”, semi-autonomous regions where no cameras or mobile devices were allowed, and anyone seen using them was automatically attacked. Mainstream society started despising these regions and their people, calling them brutes and Luddites, and the term protohistoric acquired derogative connotations. But the mocking only reinforced their belief that they were on the right path, and the protohistorians amalgamated into a unified front. After some decades of fighting, they managed to establish the so-called “reserves”, remote areas where they would not be registered. They were finally freed from History.

Hundreds of thousands moved into these reserves, from everywhere. They had very diverse backgrounds, and were forced to develop new forms of economic and political organization to survive, as the old ways could not satisfy them anymore. Although they were disconnected from “the outside” and didn’t use History, they did not reject technology entirely. They just wanted the right to be forgotten.

Image generated with DreamStudio using the prompt “People walking on the streets, drones with cameras, and microphones floating above their heads, in the style of 60s comics”