The Internet creates infinite possibilities and gives instant explanations by placing the world at our fingertips. But while surfing the net we leave visible traces that businesses use to learn about our individual preferences by analysing the resulting large data sets, meaning that users lose their privacy and autonomy. Big Data, the latest edition in the best-selling Silver Niobium series, highlights the dangers and disadvantages of the digital revolution.
Our lives are digitised to such an extent that it is both virtually impossible to remember how we ever managed during our previous analogue existence and to imagine a world in which hand-held devices do not exist. The Internet opens new possibilities to everyone, but the data collected is usually stored digitally and can be analysed with special software. Thus, before we delve deeper and deeper, we should ask ourselves the following: While I am learning on the Internet, what is the Internet learning about me?
In its niobium core, the obverse of Big Data features a human eye that represents surveillance on the one hand and the biometric method of iris recognition on the other, while the silver outer ring is designed like a camera lens. The reverse of the coin shows people under surveillance, which is recognisable from the 20:20 running time on the left edge of the outer silver ring. In the foreground of the niobium core, one of a number of human silhouettes is peppered with squares that symbolise the personal data collected about that person.