There is more data in the digital universe than there are stars in the sky. This is one of the findings of the Digital Universe study which will be released today by EMC and IDC.
The study finds that, in 2007, the size of the digital universe grew to 281 exabytes, an almost unimaginable amount of data.
And it's growing faster than expected, thanks to a significant increase in the adoption of cameras, digital TVs, Internet access, cloud computing and social networks.
By 2011, IDC and EMS believe the world will generate close to 2 zettabytes (or 177-trillion gigabytes) of information.
One reason for the burgeoning growth of data is that fact that most individuals live within a "digital shadow" – a record of information about themselves including video on surveillance cameras, credit card usage, and public records that far exceeds the information that they are creating themselves.
The downside to the digital explosion is in the area of e-waste, with about 1-billion digital devices due to be disposed of this year.