A new type of wearable technology may one day be able to monitor a person’s eating, drinking, coughing, and even social habits. This information could give health care providers useful information when treating obesity, diabetes, asthma—and even depression.
There are more than 865 encryption tools in use worldwide, all addressing different aspects of a common problem. People want to protect information: hard drives from oppressive governments, physical location from stalkers, browsing history from overly curious corporations or phone conversations from nosy neighbors. They all rely on cryptography, a delicate craft that when done properly enables secure communication despite snoopers’ efforts.
Big data offers us a window on the world. But large and easily available datasets may not show us the world we live in. For instance, epidemiological models of the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa using big data consistently overestimated the risk of the disease’s spread and underestimated the local initiatives that played a critical role in controlling the outbreak.