Look all around you – the quantity of information in the world is soaring. Mankind created approximately 150 exabytes (billion gigabytes) of data in 2005. In 2010 they created a whopping 1,200 exabytes. Merely keeping up with this flood, and storing the bits that might be useful, is difficult enough. Analyzing it, to spot patterns and extract useful information, is harder still. It has great potential for good—as long as consumers, companies and governments make the right choices about when to restrict the flow of data, and when to encourage it.
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