Why the future will be fantastic for history

The digitalisation of our lives will be a godsend to future biographers and historians.

Big data will provide unlimited, all-area access to subject´s lives. There will be no escape.

Private messages, emails, search histories, browser histories, phone calls, likes and dislikes, daily movements, bank accounts, spending details, medical and financial records will all be available at the touch of a button. Today politicians, artists, the famous and the infamous might have the cushion of security but the information is out there and it will be found. Firewalls will be scaled, security breached, information bought and sold.

The data we create will outlive us, replicating, duplicating and existing potentially forever. Future biographers will have access to their subject´s lives to a degree unimaginable these days. Gone will be the need to clear things with the family or hope for access to private papers. In the future there are no private papers. Your private messages and calls are and have been recorded. You are on record. Anyone can track you down via your digital footprints.

This can only mean honesty and transparency when it comes to future historians and biographers: it will be pointless to present the information in any other way. But what will be revealed? For the first time in history the dichotomy between public and private lives will be exposed: there will be no rumours, there will be fact. There will be proof.

In the future the present will have no place to hide.