Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Data Recycling to Become Mandatory in 2022

According to sources in the DPA (Data Protection Agency) new guidelines will be issued soon that will make digital trash separation mandatory. Every year an estimated 240 zettabytes of re-usable bits are thrown into desktop trash cans.

The new guidelines require operating system manufacturers to implement a recycling bin next to the trash can on the desktop. On Linux systems the addition of /dev/green to the existing /dev/null is being discussed.

The collected data will be re-used in the production of cat videos and make-up tutorials and is hailed as an important step forward.

Ryan Hill, Quality Manager at atsec commented: “It always bugged me to just throw away obsolete meeting minutes and draft versions of reports. Now I have the chance to make a difference by being a responsible digital citizen.”

Security experts warn that data leakage could become an issue. ‘You have to be careful when you recycle bits and bytes. You don’t want to see an unboxing video – but it’s your quarterly report being unboxed.”

Further steps to reduce digital trash are currently field-tested, including an initiative to sort zeros and ones and store them separately for more efficiency.

In addition to recycling, some digital environmental groups are recommending data composting as well. Wilbur Sycamore, President of Save our Bits, said, “Recycling is great, but the DPA should also require a data compost bin. That way all that food data waste, such as pictures of meals and recipe blogs, can be made into data compost that will allow us to grow bigger and more robust data!” Scientists estimate that a single month of Instagram food photos could be used to create 50,000 Tik Tok videos.

As with any new initiative there are also skeptics. King Ables, Security Consultant at atsec information security corporation, said, “Unfortunately, these guidelines are unlikely to produce the desired results. Sure, you can reuse the raw data, but when the ones and zeros have been separated, all you can build are null strings and broadcast addresses. What's the point of that?"

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