The Register suggests that the sheer quantity and volume of data being collected about us may serve to protect our privacy, because we simply can't analyze it all.
We can't seem to get enough of Big Data. In its Digital Universe in 2020 report (PDF), IDC forecasts Big Data-related IT spending to rise 40 per cent each year between 2012 and 2020, as the digital universe, now at 2.8 zettabytes (ZB), or 2.8 trillion GB, explodes to 40 ZB.
That's very, very Big Data. It's a pity, therefore, that we currently analyse a mere 0.5 per cent of it all.
Not that all of these data are useful. IDC expects that by 2020, just 33 per cent of the world's data will be useful if analysed. But the delta between today's 0.5 per cent of actually analysed data and 33 per cent that could be useful if analysed is unlikely to get dramatically better. We like to think of ourselves as hyper-analytical, what with our quantified selves and "measure everything" approaches to business.
But, as I've argued before, we're actually quite inept at analysing data, be the data big or small.
Not only are we bad at regulating our intake of information, to paraphrase Nick Carr, but we're also really bad at separating signal from noise. In hindsight, we think we see clearly, but even then we tend to miss the point.
There's more at the link.
So we're only analyzing about half of one per cent of all data collected? That makes me feel a lot more comfortable about privacy . . . even though I wish the data weren't being collected at all!