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April 17, 2008

A Look at the 'Digital Shadow'

By Nathesh, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The expansion of the Digital Universe is creating a new worldwide phenomenon called the ‘Digital Shadow’, which anticipates that the amount of digital information people create is going to be more than the information they create about themselves. This due in large part to the increased use of Digital Cameras, Digital TVs and other digital equipment where people are storing information.

This Digital Universe is anticipated to occupy 281 billion GB (281 exabytes) of storage and will increase in five years ten fold, to reach 1.1 zettabytes (1800 exabytes).
These are the latest findings from IDC (News - Alert) that measured and forecasted the vast amounts and diverse types of digital information created and copied in the world.
The study, which was sponsored by EMC Corporation (News - Alert), a provider of information infrastructure solutions, reveals that the Digital Shadow will gradually gain on customers and enterprises alike.
"Society is already feeling the early effects of the world's digital information explosion. Organizations need to plan for the limitless opportunities to use information in new ways and for the challenges of information governance," said Joe Tucci, EMC Chairman, President and CEO.
John Gantz, Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President, IDC also said that the digital footprint that is created by an individual’s actions in the digital world like mailing and conferencing is only one half of this Digital Universe. The other half is the auto generated Digital Shadow, details about the individual’s names in financial records, names on mailing lists, chat info, Web surfing histories or images taken by surveillance.
EMC and IDC have assembled numerous resources regarding the ongoing research, interaction with and public discussion of the Digital Universe.
To calculate the size of your own digital footprint they also offer a Personal Digital Footprint Calculator.
Nathesh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Nathesh’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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