big data

Big Data



data flood (2) incredible
giga pattern volume (3)
sensor gigabyte accumulate
source key (2) grow/grew/grown
offer satellite navigation
mobile security prediction
update browse look something up
chaos order (2) footprint (2)
byte potential bloodhound
trend real time recognize
factor chips (3) individualize
occur suggest send/sent/sent
cop therapy buy/bought/bought
crime tailor (2) network (2)
status post (3) algorithm
afford sat-nav dream (2)
urgent mine (2) revolution







Data and more data. A flood of information. In fact, an incredible five billion gigabytes of data accumulate every ten minutes. That volume is growing faster and faster.

It’s a networked world: cars with sat-nav (satellite navigation) systems . . . Sen-sors on machines . . . Radio chips . . . Security cameras . . . and mobile phones . . . all a source of more data.

And the internet too. Maya writes lots of emails. She often uses Google to look something up. She posts on Facebook and browses though online shops.

And that leaves digital footprints everywhere. Billions of people do the same. Big Data orders the chaos of bits and bytes.

Mathematical algorithms search through the masses of data like bloodhounds. They recognize patterns and trends in real time, and they make predictions.

Online shops are already sending up individualized advertising. They know what we bought yesterday. And in the future, super brains mine medical databanks and suggest tailor-made therapies.

Digital cops predict where and when a crime may be about to occur. Big data of-fers a huge potential for business. Maya updates her status on Facebook. She’s going to a party.

Big Data offers her a dream dress at a price she can afford.

She buys it.

But what she doesn’t know, Big Data knows what dress she’s going to like tomor-row. Big Data is going to be a key factor in the digital revolution of the economy.

But who does our data belong to, and who can use it, and to what end?

The question surrounding big data grow more urgent by the day.


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1. Tons of data are created all the time. True or false? Is the amount of digital data increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?

2. Is electronic data only in the form of emails and websites?

3. All the data is just random and disorganized. Is this right or wrong?

4. Is people’s personal data valuable for businesses? If yes, give examples.

5. Can Big Data be useful for ordinary consumers?

6. It is very clear and definite who owns people’s data and how it is collected, stored and used?

7. There is secrecy surrounding the nature and technology of Big Data. Is this entirely correctly, mostly correct, partially correct, mostly incorrect or completely incorrect?


A. I used email, social media and search engines. Yes or no?

B. Is there concern about Big Data (Big Brother), or no one really cares? How do your friends feel?

C. What are the (potential) benefits of Big Data?

D. What are some drawbacks?

E. What will happen in the future?

F. Should people and the government do anything?

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