Amelia Abreu (University of Washington) has written an article in The New Inquiry, “The Collection and the Cloud,” that asks “Where are the future archives?” Abreu argues that “Contemporary technologies have given us platforms that look a lot like personal archives, yet the archival functionality of platforms feels like an empty promise.” She goes on to examine current platforms and organizations like the Internet Archive, noting:
Archival institutions tend to have a point of view. University archives collect records of their institution; governmental archives collect government records. The Internet Archive, and other collections of its ilk, collect from the standpoint of old-guard Internet culture.
Furthermore, will the personal data collected by platform companies (e.g. purchasing records, physical whereabouts, profile views) be included in our next archives? Abreu asks, “Will my daughter be able to sift through my dark data profiles and learn about the egregious number of times I looked at someone else’s profile?”