13 Jul Your Data Will Never Be Safe! And Other Takeaways from Amazon’s New Original Upload
Afterlife comedy has become popular in recent years. Successful television and web-streaming shows like NBC’s “The Good Place” or Netflix’s “Russian Doll” prove that people are interested in the hereafter. And while these shows amusingly answer the age-old question of what may happen to us when we die, spending eternity eating frozen yogurt while studying ethics or reliving the same night again and again doesn’t seem a rooted in reality as Amazon Prime’s newest entry to the afterlife comedy genre- Upload
Premiering on Amazon on May 1, Upload introduced us to another theory of what life after death may look like— eternal life on the cloud. In the not-so-distant future, big data developers have created a virtual afterlife; upon almost dying, humans are able to “upload” a digital copy of themselves and “live eternally” online. While their physical body becomes obsolete, literally exploding upon being uploaded, their consciousness is copied to the cloud and able to continue an existential though completely digital life. It’s kind of like if you became a Sim upon death but with way better graphics. Throughout ten episodes, Upload lightly and cheekily explores what a digital afterlife may look like; pop-up ads, in-app upgrades, and glitches, included. [/vc_column_text]
For as much fun as the show can be, the overall theme elicits hard-to-ignore, sometimes unsettling questions about the convergence of human life and technology. As depicted in the show, being able to consciously continue after physically expiring can have unexpected consequences on relationships and self-identity. And, eternal life would come at a cost, quite literally. In the universe of the show, afterlives are sold like data plans. Unlimited data plans provide an afterlife of luxury, while “2G plans” often run out of data every month, leaving the uploaded user frozen in stasis until data is recharged. Talk about a technical purgatory.
While the show has a comedic yet heartfelt response to these situations, another more nefarious issue arises. (It’s also the season one plotline, so spoilers ahead.) In season one we meet Nathan, who upon dying in a self-driving car accident, is uploaded to the most opulent afterlife of them all, Lake View. Shortly after his customer service rep, or “Angel” as they’re called in the show, discovers Nathan has “corrupted memories”, errored files the system can’t read. In other words, someone messed with his data. Yes, even in “heaven” your data is at risk.
The show may be set in a very fictional future, but the warning it heeds is a serious one- data needs to be protected, always.
In 2018, a staggering statistic came out— 2.6 quintillion bytes of data were created everyday (one quintillion is equal to 1,000,000 trillions). In the same report, they expected that by 2020, 1.7MB of data would be created every second by every person on earth. Although our data isn’t quite like Nathan’s from the show (unless that is, you’ve had your memories successfully uploaded), our data does, in part, represent who we are as people. So what happens if we lose that data? Do we lose a part of ourselves the way Nathan did?
It may seem overdramatic, but the answer for many is yes. Especially those that define themselves with the data they create like photographers, influencers, filmmakers, musicians, or even parents who just love to record every second of their children’s lives. In many ways, the information age has led us to not just define ourselves by who we are, but by what we create. And now, most of what we create is data. The difference between us and Nathan (other than him being a fictional character, and dead) is that we still have time to save that data and protect ourselves using the same tech that gave Nathan everlasting life- the cloud.
Though we won’t be digitizing our memories anytime soon, cloud services still provide us with a way to protect and safeguard the copious amounts of data we create everyday. Cloud storage solutions today offer easy-to-use interfaces, AI-powered systeming, and more than enough storage space for the average consumer’s data. In fact, cloud computing has evolved so much in the last 15 years, a world like the one seen in Upload doesn’t seem too far off. Which makes its warning even more important. Data has become part of our being, and we must protect it before we lose it, and lose ourselves.
You can protect your data today by making sure you store data backups on the cloud Visit www.polarbackup.com to learn more about our one-time payment lifetime cloud backup plans.