Big data revolutionises Europe’s fight against terrorism
“The European police organisation’s focus on terrorism has quickly taken off with this investigation. While Europol’s database only contained 1.5 million terrorism entries before 2015 – compared to 25 million for organised crime, for example – the ‘Friday 13’ investigation alone already accounts for 1.1 million data entries.
In isolation, each individual piece of data concerning the nine terrorists that killed 130 people and injured 413 others in Paris is almost meaningless, be it a telephone number, a flight booking, a message on a social network or a notice of arrest. But when compiled, sorted, grouped appropriately or even entered into special data-mapping, drawing or analysis software, they take on a very different meaning.
Such is the complexity of the task at hand that only a trained analyst is able to make sense of the data. And even then, often only with the help of artificial intelligence.”