"We don't believe that the world will be best served by a commercial race to the bottom, with tech companies forced to choose between social responsibility and market success."
Brad Smith•President, Microsoft
Illicit flows of data now raise concerns far beyond privacy. The ever-increasing amount of data – an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, or 25 million kilometers of books, that is created every day – presents a security problem as it becomes increasingly difficult to shield it from intrusions and misuse, especially as more and more of it is being stored online or on devices that connect to the internet. Apart from the significant economic damage caused by cybercrime, this leaves individuals, as well as companies and states exposed to espionage and extortion. Illicitly acquired data may even be used to undermine electoral processes. An infamous recent example of this is the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica case during the last US election campaign.
For more data and analysis from our chapter on illicit flows of data, download the full Transnational Security Report below: