Dystopian futures almost always feature some kind of omnipotent presence—political, corporate or non-human—beneath whose gaze the masses cringe and squirm. And the power that these entities enjoy often depends, in a nod to the grim realities of the past, on the willingness of individuals to betray one another in return for a scrap of reward or approval.

Central to these scenarios is the suggestion that human beings are complicit in their own subjugation; too quick to divide and invite the rule of tyranny.

So the Informer was disappointed but not surprised by Amdocs research published this week revealing that 57 per cent of consumers would be willing to share personal data with their mobile operator, including their location, the names of their top five Facebook friends and information on their family members, in exchange for some kind of payout. More than half of the 3,900 people surveyed would even be happy for that data to be passed on to a third party.

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