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The War Over the Value of Personal Data

By Logan Kugler

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 61 No. 2, Pages 17-19

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Data has been called the "new oil," and one reason for this is that personal data greases the wheels of our connected world. It powers wildly lucrative social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat. Data makes online advertising super-targeted (and super-profitable) for Internet giants like Google, and data about online habits is highly lucrative for any brand selling online (which is most of them).

If data is the new oil, we're discovering gushers each and every day. Consultancy IDC predicts the total amount of data generated globally will hit 44 zettabytes by 2020, a tenfold jump from 2013's 4.4 zettabytes.


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