The quantity of information in the world is soaring. Merely keeping up with, and storing new information is difficult enough. Analyzing it, to spot patterns and extract useful information, is harder still. Even so, this data deluge 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. Find out more.
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chart 1). Moreover, ensuring data security and protecting privacy is becoming harder as the information multiplies and is shared ever more widely around the world. Alex Szalay, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University, notes that the proliferation of data is making them increasingly inaccessible. How to make sense of all these data? People should be worried about how we train the next generation, not just of scientists, but people in government and industry, he says. We are at a different period