Everyone knows that Internet has changed the way businesses work, governments run and people live. But a new, less apparent, technological trend is proving to have equally great transformational power: “Big Data”.
This is essentially a huge change in the way information is stored. Over the past two decades, an “explosion” of “big data” has been recorded, as we have passed from the paper, film and other analog media to the era of digitization.
According to studies in 2000, only a quarter of all data stored globally was digital. Today, less than 2% of all stored information is non-digital.
Many people in the technology believe that the beginnings of “Big Data” are traced back to the 1980s digital revolution when advances in microprocessors and computer memory made it possible to analyze and store information as ever before.
Computers and the Internet certainly help “Big Data” by reducing the cost of collecting, storing and processing information. But, “Big Data” is a tool to advance the quantification of human activities.
Internet has reshaped the way humanity communicates. “Big Data” do something different: they signal a transformation in how society processes the information. In short, “Big Data” can change the way we think of the world.
As we draw more data to understand the facts and make decisions, we are likely to discover that many aspects of life are moving in the realm of probability rather than certainty.
In the new environment, states will need to protect their citizens and their markets from the new vulnerabilities created by the “Big Data”. But there is another possible dark point: “Big Data” can become Big Brother.
In all countries, but especially in the non-democratic ones, “Big Data” intensify the risks to lead to the authoritarianism of “Big Data”, a possibility that has been described in science fiction films.
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