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Digital dystopia

Digital dystopia

(also cyber dystopia, algorithmic dystopia)

Digital dystopia definition

The notion that advancements in digital technology will cause (or are causing) major changes and disruptions in various fields: political, economic, and mostly social. The concept of the digital dystopia includes increased usage of artificial intelligence, virtual and enhanced reality, social networks, biometric recognition systems, and mass connectivity and surveillance. The dystopian element of the concept is mainly centered around the loss of privacy and governments’ total societal control.

Digital dystopia threats

  • Total loss of privacy.
  • Social fragmentation.
  • Mass migration.
  • Dehumanization.

Digital dystopia example

China’s current surveillance state is an example of a digital dystopia, which many privacy advocates consider a glimpse of what awaits all Western societies.

China uses biometric data (voice and face recognition, fingerprint scans), location tracking, and a massive network of security cameras to keep an eye on its citizens both online and offline. A recent investigation by The New York Times showed that the surveillance was much more wide-ranging than previously thought. The Chinese government collects all kinds of possible data about its citizens, from their voice patterns to their DNA. The system allows it to find out everything about any person, which in turn leads to total control and continuous authoritarian rule.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security