On April 3, 2012 the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs in partnership with the Consulate General of Canada, Los Angeles hosted a talk by Dr. Ron Deibert, Director of The Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
Big Data is typically defined in engineering terms as datasets that grow so large that they become awkward with which to work and analyze. Big Data can also be described in metaphorical terms: as the endless digital grains of sand on an endlessly mutating, ever expanding beach we produce as we move, think and act within cyberspace. Big Data come from everywhere: from space based satellite sensors used to gather climate information, to lunchtime posts on social media sites. From digital pictures and videos posted online, to transaction records of purchases made at groceries stories. From signals emitted unwittingly on our mobile phones, to information buried in the packet headers of our emails. The world of Big Data is, in many ways, a gift to ourselves from society. But there are also many unintended consequences and emergent properties of the world of Big Data, some of which do not portend well for rights, openness, and networking.