Here's another thing I've been thinking about.
There's a society (imaginary) where the people happily buy and wear shiny golden shackles and collars. They can't get enough of them. The Ruler realized he could control the population with their blessing by letting them put themselves in bondage. In fact, he was in bondage too.
We are heading in that same direction. Here is the future as I see it:
At birth each child is issued an URL, this could be in addition to or an extension of the social security number.
All internet use will be traced through this URL (this unique identifier). You can sign-up for a free Gmail account (the “G” is for government), for example, but you must give your URL as a reference.
All internet transactions will be recorded in each person's personal storage area (perma-cookies). The amount of storage area a person takes up will be a measuring stick of some kind, the more experience you have (or the more affluent you are), the bigger your allocation, or something).
Since everything will be done through the internet, your life will be almost completely recorded. What you read, watch, buy, etc. Your likes, dislikes, and fetishes.
Peoples "Electronic Living Space" will occasionally be hacked.
Eventually, many, many years from now, there will be no need to hack this "private" info because it won't be private anymore. Want to see what Ty is reading today, just look it up. The idea of keeping your life private will seem strange and primitive. "What do you have to hide? What are you doing wrong if you need privacy? Why don't you want me to know what you are doing?" The way things are now will seem to these future people they way the "Wild West" seems to us.
We can appreciate the freedom people back then had, but are happy things are a bit more controlled now. We wouldn’t trade our access or ease of life.
No one is walking around with six-shooters and there is some law and order. To them it will be like "what do you mean you could do things without anyone knowing? What do you mean you could go somewhere secretly? What a strange and chaotic time that must have been."
This thing that we feel gives us anonymity and freedom is really the golden shackles we are all clamoring to get, putting ourselves, of our own free will, closer to the ultimate control we all so much hate and love.