We all generate data, with our mobile phones, sensors, social networks, digital photographs and videos, purchase transactions and GPS signals. What is new is that it is increasingly easy to store and process these vast quantities of data that detect patterns (of incidents, behaviour, consumption, voting, investment, etc.). This fact is very quickly and completely changing the way decisions are made at all levels.
Is data the new oil, a potentially boundless source of wealth? Is it the ammunition for arms of mass surveillance? Or should it be primarily an opportunity, an instrument for knowledge, prevention, efficiency and transparency, a tool to help construct a more transparent, participatory democracy?