Jean Lievens: The number crunch: Will Big Data transform your life – or make it a misery?

IO Impotency
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

The number crunch: Will Big Data transform your life – or make it a misery?

The age of Big Data is upon us. Fuelled by an incendiary mix of overblown claims and dire warnings, the public debate over the handling and exploitation of digital information on an astronomically large scale has been framed in stark terms: on one side are transformative forces that could immeasurably improve the human condition; on the other, powers so subversive and toxic that a catastrophic erosion of fundamental liberties looks inevitable.