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There has been a great deal of discussion in recent years that "Big Data" is the next big thing in the world of technology and business. In our increasingly data-intensive world, Big Data is proclaimed by its proponents as bringing about a new era of innovation and economic growth. But as increasingly large amounts of data are collected, stored and analyzed about individuals, privacy advocates have also raised concerns that Big Data may endanger, if not end, personal privacy and lead to the world depicted in the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report, where individuals are under constant surveillance and viewed almost entirely as a collection of data bits. Given the strong opinions held by both sides, it is important to unpack the meaning of the Big Data phenomenon and its alleged dangers to personal privacy.

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