Scenario: in the not-so-distant future, someone(s) crack the code to the human mind. Essentially, humanity now has the power to treat the human mind as computer files - copy, delete, modify - all in the hands of a skilled professional, of course.
I'm thinking less like Altered Carbon and more like Dollhouse (spoiler warning for the Wikipedia article if you didn't watch the series) but instead of the technology being secret, monopolized by a megacorp and stretched to all possible limits, discovery was publicly announced and it led to organization and regulation, possibly after a few... unfortunate incidents like all technological advances in history.
A few possibilities of the technology:
- Medical applications: the technology can be used to cure mental health issues like PTSD, extreme grief, schizophrenia - or also give people mental issues
- Logistic applications: instead of travelling physically, someone's mind can be sent to the desired location and use another body, or the same person can have their mind copied and be in multiple places at the same time - while useful for busy businessmen, can also be used to commit a series of other less savory acts like espionage, sabotage, even identity theft
- Instant skill mastery: learn anything you want in seconds... for the right price - and this would affect regulated professions such as most health professions (medicine, pharmacy, nursing...), law, engineering
- Memory alterations: want to forget that horrible day / period in your life? Sure. Get new memories of a holiday you didn't go? - that would surely have an impact into law enforcement: how to make sure that an eye-witness' account is legit and not implanted?
- Personality manipulation: someone can be made to be more ambitious, or persistent, or polite, or aggressive, or even a psychopath
- Body hopping / functional immportality: someone short on money can rent their body for someone else to take it for a spin - short (a few hours) or long term (surrogacy will be a whole new process...) or maybe even... indefinitely - which without consent would be essentially kidnapping or murder
How would this technology will be regulated? More specifically, what kind of safeguards would governing bodies put in place? For example, proof of identity - biometrics in this world (thumb, retina, even DNA) wouldn't mean much
Of course there will be people performing illegal activities but that's not the topic for this question