"Data is the oil, some say the gold, of the 21st century," Siemens CEO, Joe Kaeser, said in 2018.
A very recent example of the power of data is the fact that today, as large parts of the world's population are confined indoors, the founder of video meeting company Zoom has seen his net worth rise by $2 billion while airlines go bust during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are 7 ways that data has been used to deceive individuals and the public in surprising ways.
1. Traffic hackers bringing cities to a halt
Hackers have been shown to be able to hack into the grid — with worrying ease — and use data in order to affect traffic in various ways.
In 2014, Cesar Cerrudo, an Argentinian security researcher with IoActive examined the vehicle traffic control system installed at major U.S. cities and presented his findings at the Infiltrate conference in Florida. It showed that they can be manipulated to bring traffic to a standstill or to force cars to change their routes.
A 2015 demonstration by hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, meanwhile, showed how they could remotely hack a Jeep Cherokee that was driving on the highway by hacking into its smart system.
While these methods only showed how data could be manipulated via the hacking of large grids, there are also real-life examples of hackers affecting traffic. Just last month it was revealed that a man used a wagon filled with 99 smartphones — all using Google Maps driving navigation — to trick the app into falsely alerting people of traffic jams on streets that were really empty.