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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to run into bureaucratic, technical and ethical problems. Online advertising is already far more accurately targeted than the offline sort, but there is scope for even greater personalisation. Advertisers would then be willing to pay more, which would in turn mean that consumers prepared to opt into such things could be offered a richer and broader range of free online services. And governments are belatedly coming around to the idea of putting more information—such as crime figures, maps, details of