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Data LivesHow Data Are Made and Shape Our World$
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Rob Kitchin

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781529215144

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529215144.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

The End of the Data Lifecycle

The End of the Data Lifecycle

(p.101) 13 The End of the Data Lifecycle
Data Lives

Rob Kitchin

Policy Press

This chapter assesses the transitory nature of data and its deletion, by either design or accident. In the data-driven world we live in, while it sometimes seems that data lasts forever, they all pass through a lifecycle. For the majority of data points, this cycle passes very quickly as the data are transitory — created, processed, and deleted in micro-seconds. Value is extracted, or they are never examined or processed, and then they are discarded because they have little further utility and there is no point wasting resources storing them. In some cases, useful data might be deleted accidentally, or without forethought. Given the massive amounts of data presently being produced, often only a sample are retained and stored rather than a full set. Indeed, the data we store in archives and repositories is often derived data. In the case of data brokers, producing derived data is also a means to bypass the fair-information-practice principle of data minimization which states that data should only be used for the purpose for which it was intended. Similarly, metadata — factual information about data — is often retained rather than the data themselves.

Keywords:   data, data deletion, data lifecycle, data storage, data creation, derived data, data brokers, data minimization, metadata

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