In Felicia Yap’s speculative world of ‘Yesterday’ , people’s short-term memories are finite – so everyone records their daily experiences on electronic diaries. The Guardian’s Rising Star for Fiction 2017 chats to Aphaia Blog about our online memory delusions.
The EU law, including General Data Protection Regulation ( GDPR ) , grants individuals the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ , enabling them to request erasure of personal data stored about them online. But what if all our memories were stored on our electronic platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram profiles) – or, as it is in ‘Yesterday’, on an iDiary? How would that affect our perception of reality – and our privacy?
According to Felicia Yap, the iDiary acts as a technological metaphor for the all-too-human desire to remember. But this metaphor also questions whether the information that we have on our electronic devices or on online digital platforms, is real – or is it really what we choose to believe about our pasts? She says she wanted to explore our capacity for self-delusion, the lies we choose to tell ourselves. iDiary is therefore “a technological metaphor for what we choose to remember and how we do it.”
We note that, just like in our world, in ‘Yesterday’, iDiary privacy is protected by privacy law in a similar way as our offline and online personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 and now GDPR. A brilliant fiction writer, Felicia Yap has created parallels with aspects of our ICT-dominated world – including data protection law.