Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 08/2014

Big Data Is Changing Your World... More Than You Know

Banning Garrett

September 2013

Atlantic Council


In the latest FutureScape brief from the Atlantic Council's Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI) at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, SFI’s Senior Fellow for Innovation and Global Trends Banning Garrett assesses the ubiquity of big data and the opportunities and risks it poses to our lives.

From one perspective, big data enables everything from more allowing a blind person to drive to increasing profits for retailers around the world. From another perspective, big data can compromise privacy and security making citizens uneasy about surveillance. Government will play a critical role in easing this tension but also in shaping rules regarding access to and use of data that respect individuals’ rights.