We constantly create data: every minute, 3.2 million comments, photos, and videos are shared on Facebook, which now uses 1.74 billion people. At the same time, 204 million emails are sent and 300 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube.
Every 15 seconds or so, each of the 7 billion mobile phones spontaneously creates location data to function, thus determining the precise location of almost all of humanity.
Here is a practical consequence: to confuse a thief who denies having been at the scene of his theft has become commonplace in the correctional courts, as it is easy for a judge to obtain the history of his location from his telephony operator. And our smartphones do more than that: the cloud services they contain transmit our locations, but also the imprint of our voice, our fingers; they convey our transactions, our interactions, our readings, the films we select or watch, the services we consult.
In this landscape, we can add the data that now create our industrial equipment, our connected cars, our houses sensors, security cameras, etc.
This is the new data produced by humanity when twenty years ago, there were only embryonic services: only a few tens of millions of insiders, on a global scale, were connected to the world. Internet, through personal computers.
This is why, every day, humanity produces more information than any that have been created since the first Sumerian cuneiform tables until around 2000 – an exabyte of data.
It is estimated that in 2025, there could be 100 billion connected objects in addition to smartphones and other tablets or so many machines that create the “data” conveyed by the Internet. Each of these machines will generate data of all types, giving valuable information on human activities, the environment, medicine, science, economic agents, in short, on the functioning of an infinity of complex systems, previously isolated, unable to communicate with a single network. A large amount of this data is freely accessible.