What Is Data?

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The main goal of this course is to create a well-rownded understanding of what data is, why privacy is important, how data is gathered, and how to protect it. Let’s start off by defining data! What data is and what data used to be are two completely different things, especially when it comes to technology. Our world is ever evolving into more complex versions of itself and data is no exception. At the most broad level, data is a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables about one or more persons or objects. 

For example, data could be something like your name and address or it could be your search history in your web browser. Scientists use data to test hypotheses and analysts use data to solve problems. Data includes a whole spectrum of things ranging from numbers to what we like to call “Big Data”. 

What is Big Data?

The term “Big Data” refers to data that is so large, fast or complex that it’s difficult or impossible to process using traditional methods. The concept of big data gained momentum in the early 2000s and has grown exponentially since then. With the coming of age of Big Data, businesses have based their business model upon treating data like an asset itself. This progression within the data world has refocused attention upon the social uses of data and data privacy. 

Why does all of this matter?

At the end of the day, we must realize that our personal data should not be the asset of a business. We believe everyone deserves individual data ownership, privacy, and security. We strive to create a world of greater equality and greater mutual respect for our identities. We want the originator of the data to have a choice as to who or what may access that information. Your data is yours and we want to keep it that way!

Learn about Data Privacy and more in our ongoing publications at Data Privacy University