George Black

Dead Data

January 3, 2020

Will our listings on Ancestry.com link to 10,000 photos we once uploaded to Facebook?

Will third-party companies collect our ancient data, and keep it only for a fee? Or auction it off like abandon storage units?

Is it worth storing a tweet from 2,000 years ago?

Will there be a day when even Glacier Deep Archive is too expensive? ($0.00099/GB!)

When do we start deleting things?

Of the ~108 billion people born, most have no record of their existence. Many that do, have only a worn-down gravestone, a signature on a legal document, or a photo in someone’s attic. Even these will eventually be lost.

Humans are finite; time is not. We generate heaps of digital data that we do not destroy. So what happens to our “dead” data?

Fun side note: This insignificant blog post will last for 1,000 years in an arctic vault.