'It’s quite something to think of one simple statistic that sums up how much data is being processed about us – that ninety per cent of the world’s data was created in just the last two years. It has been calculated that each one of us with an internet connection is adding over 160 pieces of data to our personal profiles, being hoovered up by modern-day hunter-gatherers, every single day. That’s about three billion bits of data on UK adults, let alone the rest of the world.
In a social setting, it is the norm that people know some basic information about you. If they don’t know, they will ask polite questions, and you reciprocate by providing what information you are prepared to give away. As you get to know someone better over time, you tend to divulge more information as the trust between you grows.
But what if these same people stood there face to face, at the first meeting and asked a barrage of questions like how much do you earn, how much debt or credit you have, where you spend your money, how much, on what and who with? Or what your current sexual preferences are, who you stayed with last night, where, what time you fell asleep – and so on. These questions are indeed being asked of us. According to the New Economics Foundation, over 160 questions are being asked of us every day. When I say asked – I mean given away by the electronic devices we use. Mobiles, desktops, smartwatches, tablets are constantly updating.
Yes, I know that somehow we’ve given permissions and yes you can turn some of them off to increase privacy- but the truth is – it doesn’t work that way.
You might be surprised to know that Google can collate a file on you with the equivalent of 1.5 million documents.
Stacked upon each other, these pages would be 500 ft (152m) high. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in Britain defines skyscrapers as those buildings which reach or exceed 150 m (490 ft) in height.
Is it not just a little bit worrying that your personal data stack would qualify as a skyscraper of information about just you?
Stacked upon each other, at 500 pages to a reem – each one at 2 inches thick, your data pile would be 500 ft or 152m high. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in Britain define skyscrapers as those buildings which reach or exceed 490 ft (150m) in height.
Read more: Personal Data – The skyscraper of data you knew nothing about