Building Our Future Glass Homes – An Essay About Influencing the Future Through Regulation

Computer Law and Security Review 29 (2013) pp. 540-553.

Posted: 4 Jul 2014

See all articles by Ivan Szekely

Ivan Szekely

Eotvos Karoly Policy Institute; OSA Archivum

Date Written: August 1, 2013


The present paper surveys the prospects and possibilities of regulating the application areas of Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) – or in a broader sense, of influencing the future way of life – at the intersection of law, technology and society. It dissects the anticipated further erosion of personal privacy – the focus area of the essay – caused by technological developments and related interests. After sketching out an ironic dystopia, in which the idea of transparency is foisted upon the public by future technological developments, the author contemplates the relationships between legal regulation and the underlying values in the predictable but unknowable milieu of future life conditions. While studying the immutability of fundamental values, the author offers a brief survey of the role of public opinion, as well as of the limitations of taking into account the majority opinion, followed by a thought experiment about the possible ways of regulating the "Code", approaching it from the direction of two fundamental rights, the right to human dignity and the freedom of academic research. After reaching conflicting conclusions and making a few suggestions about possible ways to regulate the area, the author makes a proposal about the introduction of a small-scale experimental tool, metaphorically named as a predictive learning model of regulation. Despite the difficulties and the uncertainties, the essay's overall perspective on the role of legal regulation is not a pessimistic one, as long as it is used flexibly and in conjunction with other means of regulation.

Keywords: Future and emerging technologies; Privacy; Regulation; Fundamental values; Predictive learning models of regulation

Suggested Citation

Szekely, Ivan and Szekely, Ivan, Building Our Future Glass Homes – An Essay About Influencing the Future Through Regulation (August 1, 2013). Computer Law and Security Review 29 (2013) pp. 540-553., Available at SSRN:

Ivan Szekely (Contact Author)

OSA Archivum ( email )

Arany Janos u. 32.
Budapest, H-1051
+36 1 327-3250 (Phone)
+36 1 327-3260 (Fax)


Eotvos Karoly Policy Institute ( email )

Szentkiralyi u. 11.
Budapest, H-1088

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