The public may consider the Internet of Things–referring to the many sensors and other internet-connected devices that can enhance our daily lives–a future technological promise, but the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center recognizes that IoT has been a growing part of our lives for decades. Though most might not realize it, in 2013 the number of network devices for the first time equaled the population of humans. Within two years, that number of networked devices had doubled.
These sensors, along with traditional digital systems, are producing unfathomable amounts of data: an estimated 4 zetabytes or 4 billion terabytes were stored in databases around the world in 2013, a number expected to increase to 100 zetabytes by 2022. In context, that data content would be the size of twice the number of conversations of any kind that humans have ever had as a species.
With so many devices providing so much data on individuals all across the world, the Atlantic Council GeoTech Center’s new Director, Dr. David Bray emphasized the need for new, intentionally designed infrastructure for managing and accounting for the data produced by the IoT in a discussion with Jeff May of AICPA. In line with the GeoTech Center’s mission, Dr. Bray asserted that the goal of any new data and IoT management regimen should be to propel society towards greater transparency and participation, empowering individuals with data rather than enveloping them in a surveillance state.
Check out the video for more of Dr. Bray’s ideas for IoT and data management.
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