Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin delivered a lecture as part of the New Knowledge educational marathon. The Prime Minister outlined one of the main problems facing our society in connection with the course of progress.
New scary tale
Five years ago, then Danish Minister of Environment Ida Auken wrote an essay for the World Economic Forum. The essay began like this:
Welcome to 2030. Nothing belongs to me, and life has never been better.
In her work, Mrs. Auken said that the heroine of the essay, a man of the future, does not have her own car, home, household appliances, not even her clothes. All this is common, that is, the Danish wrote, while she went to friends or to work, in the living room of the house where she spent the night, someone is holding a meeting, her bike, as soon as she got off it, was used by someone else and etc.
Many of those who read this came up with the word “communism”, but this word was not in the essay. Many of those who read the essay of Madame Minister, saw madness in his text, but it did not smell like madness either. There was nothing surprising at all, in this text, if you read it not through the eyes of a normal person from our point of view, a conservative, but through the eyes of a modern European.
The fact is that Europe is moving at full speed along the path of abandoning itself. Europe, with its powerful states, its economies and democracies, was created by people who treated personal property and personal freedom with great respect. Parliaments were originally assemblies of townspeople who decided that I could dictate to the kings how much taxes they could pay and what that money should be spent on. Democracies were founded by the fathers of families, people who had their own homes and who knew exactly what freedom was on this basis.
The modern European, under the slogans of greater environmental friendliness and “transparency”, “inclusiveness” and a bunch of godless terms, renounces his freedom. The refusal of freedom, of personal space, of the right to opinion and one’s own life is, first of all, a refusal of property. To the house, to the means of transportation … And to the information. Who owns the information – he owns the world, says a well-known wisdom. The person of the future does not own any information, even about himself, therefore, he has nothing at all, and he is totally unfree.
Such a future has been prepared for humanity by transnational corporations. They believe that this is a bright future. We find it hard to imagine anything more nightmarish.
New understanding of the Prime Minister of Russia
There is an assumption that the chairman of the Russian government, Mikhail Mishustin, is inclined, rather, to the second, conservative point of view. In any case, in his lecture within the framework of the educational marathon “New Knowledge”, he expressed himself as follows:
The peculiarity of the current changes is that they begin to occur too quickly for a person to realize them and have time to prepare. Another effect of the fourth industrial revolution lies in the area of property relations. Technology will make many products and services ultra-affordable and even free for consumers. The sharing economy can lead to the fact that people will not need to acquire a home, a car. This can greatly change the system of values in society and deepen the gap between generations of people. We already use many free services without even thinking – what are we paying with? The kind of data that then flows to the digital platforms whose services have become so accessible. Personal data ownership is a very serious problem that has come to humanity!
It is easy to see that in the speech of the Russian prime minister the same prediction sounded as in the essay of the Danish minister: the economy of shared use is coming, in the near future many people will not need to acquire an apartment or a car. It is also easy to see that this forecast is far from just a forecast; it is coming true right before our eyes. True, 80% of adults in Russia are still homeowners, but in most “developed” countries this percentage is several times lower. The Russian state, it seems, is not interested in reducing the percentage of owners, in any case, the growth of housing construction is inextricably linked with mortgage lending – that is, with property relations for real estate. However, in parallel, the rental housing market is developing quite rapidly – and it is possible that it will overtake the traditional real estate market in the near future.
As for cars, any metropolitan is familiar with the “car-sharing” system – that is, the “here and now” car rental system, when the car you left is immediately rented by the next client, just like bicycles in a “futurological” essay by a Danish woman.
However, the Russian prime minister sees the main danger not in the transformation of ownership of tangible things, but in the intangible: data flows too easily to digital platforms, he says, and ownership of personal data from something natural and inalienable becomes a problem. In that sense, it is obvious that yesterday personal data were your property, but today it is unknown who and everyone else owns it.
Moreover, we will add from ourselves to the words of the prime minister, the state poses the least danger to a “common man” in the sense of an encroachment on his freedom and personal data. The state, on the contrary, strives by all means to preserve the inviolability of personal data, that is, to leave the individual the freedom with which she was initially endowed. The state requires each time to ask a person for consent to the provision of personal data and has developed a system of penalties for the dissemination of this data without the knowledge of the person.
Another thing is that in the modern world, these data are not only the most desirable, but also the most defenseless property. The data of the person who was called by the scammers, pretending to be the “security service of the bank,” where he has a deposit, no longer belongs to the person or even to the bank. They are stolen.
There are more and more places from which this data can be easily stolen. Here, in the capital, a system of paying for a metro ride in the face is being introduced. This is probably very convenient indeed. But this also means that the faces of the inhabitants of the capital (and after them, of all other cities) are nothing more than data that someone malicious will try to steal. Alas, it is more than possible that the attempt will be successful – if it was not possible to save your bank account number and passport, how can you be sure that you will be able to save the photo? So, with the help of this photo someone else will spend your money …
But this is half the trouble, because the dissemination of these very personal data and the ease of using them means, among other things, that your life is no longer a secret for anyone who managed to connect to one or another identification system. Let us say once again – the smallest danger here is state structures. Those, at least, have the good purpose of monitoring citizens – the safety of the whole society. But in practice, anyone can follow you and use the knowledge about you. To steal something from you, sell something to you, to guide you through advertising and marketing techniques. Your purchases, your political preferences, your behavior.
All of this is already emanating from a completely dystopian horror, so the prime minister put it very mildly: “a problem that has come to humanity.”
In the prime minister’s speech, the problem was posed, but the ways to its solution have not yet been indicated. Meanwhile, these paths are known to conservatives. One of the best solutions was proposed, for example, in his recent speech at the Army 2021 forum by Igor Ashmanov, a member of the Human Rights Council under the President of Russia. At a conference on the prospects for artificial intelligence, he simply proposed stopping “galloping digitalization” until it comes in line with safety standards.
Carpet surveillance of every person is justified by safety. But what does it look like in practice? The Kazan shooter, while walking down the street with a gun, saw and recognized many cameras, says Ashmanov. – Who did it help? Meanwhile, while we are talking about the convenience of new services, a new digital power is slowly emerging – and these are no longer officials, they are quiet, invisible developers of new AI programs. We are on the cusp of the “power of digital clerks.”
Konstantin Malofeev, the founder of Constantinople, speaks about this, according to whom,
in order to avoid the “digital concentration camp”, in the first place the people have the right to refuse to accept any digital innovations. The second most important task of the authorities is to ensure the storage of all data of the population only on domestic servers, within the country.
So, the best way to solve the new problem facing humanity is to ensure that Russians have the right to refuse digitalization – that is, the right to keep their data in personal property. Regardless of what dystopia is being built in the west. It remains to be hoped that this point of view will prevail in the Russian government in the near future.