It’s Time To Check How Much ‘Dirty Data’ You’ve Got On Your Phone

How many pics are saved on your phone right now? If you have a smartphone with a decent camera, chances are – thousands. The same goes for emails, too.

But all that unnecessary data you are storing and probably don’t think about is actually contributing to climate change.

According to a new survey, the amount of C02 generated by so called “dirty data” is contributing in the UK alone is the same carbon footprint as 112,500 return flights from London to Australia.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) commissioned the research and found that the average British person takes about 900 photos every year, and has five others taken for every image posted online.

Those duplicated images amount to 10.6kg of C02 emissions per person as a result of the energy used and carbon footprint produced by storing all this data on personal and shared servers.

Our “dirty data” habits, as the IET labels them, also include excess data streaming and downloading, and storage of unwanted emails and messages.

Multiple lockdowns and the pandemic might have stalled our physical carbon footprint, but we’ve been clocking up the numbers while at home. In fact, the IET found that the biggest emission occurred during the last two years.

And while the accumulated amount of C02 produced in the UK is equivalent to 112,500 flights, individually that amounts to the same emission as driving from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

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