Personalized ads, automated suggestions, and unrestricted access to our online profiles show how the data we leave behind can be collected and used to change our online experiences. We have also learned our personal communications can be monitored for security purposes.
What if the invisible forces behind online services, marketing, and security developed much more involved roles in our lives?
What if the vast amounts of online data on ourselves and others were used to manipulate our daily experiences?
What if this pervasive system has already been put into motion?
In the near future, the US has declared that energy is being consumed at an unsustainable rate. In an effort to quickly slow the rate of consumption the government has issued energy limits for each individual. Mandatory wearable devices track how much energy you use based on the products and services you use or buy and convert those measurements into E-Points.
E-Points are the new universal measure of energy. Every product you buy or service you use has an E-Point cost associated with it. These points are indicative of the total energy cost of using that product or service. In order for something to have a lower E-Point cost, it must not simply be cheaper to use or produce. E-Points are a holistic calculation of the total environmental footprint of a good or service.
By age 15, you are given your wearable E-Point tracker and begin to build an energy score. Your energy score is like your social security number and becomes very much a part of your identity.
People who manage their E-Point usage wisely have a better energy score. It is this score that indicates the cost of keeping you as a member of society, thereby determining the products and services you have access to. Those who have managed their energy consumption poorly are treated as "wasteful" by the government and are therefore undeserving of certain benefits. For example, an individual with a low energy score may not be allowed to fly, to buy a house, access to good education, or even healthcare because they have proven to be wasting societies' resources. The government sees no point in spending what little resources it has on someone who is consuming more than they contribute.
People can raise their energy score by engaging in more energy responsible activities like carpooling, recycling, or buying locally grown food. Things like driving an SUV, running a large home, or buying unsustainable products will all hurt your energy score.