By now, “data is the new oil” is essentially banal. Tech journos, including myself, are partially to blame for that, but the consultants and marketers can shoulder their share of the guilt too. That doesn’t, however, make it any less true: data is a valuable resource in itself and can be transformed in innumerable ways into other goods of varying usefulness — the Tupperware and plastic wraps of the data world, perhaps.

But in several ways that comparison doesn’t fit. For starters, there is no limited pool of the stuff to fight over — although we are already fighting over it — and we don’t all have our own personal and pint-sized oil rigs. With data, however, we do. We generate it all the time, in the weirdest and simplest daily ways — how we travel, how we spend, who we visit, what we eat, and on and on.  ..

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