A data shadow is a slang term that refers to the sum of all small traces of information that an individual leaves behind through everyday activities. It is a minute piece of data created when an individual sends an email, updates a social media profile, swipes a credit card, uses an ATM and so on.
Surveillance-related data is a particular driver for storage capacity requirements. This data is often recorded and stored long-term, providing a persistent record of activities online and in the physical world. The data presents a privacy concern for individuals and a burden on IT shoulders as it pushes storage demands and potentially exposes sensitive data.
Individuals are recorded on higher resolution video for significant portions of their days in many places. The number of these data files and their size are expected to increase as the number of devices, their resolution and other data detail increases. This massive volume of data calls for consideration into privacy policies, data ownership, retention and disposal. Administrators that are not adequately aware of the problem or keeping up on policy stand to be found responsible for leaks, should data be retained that should have been disposed of or, alternately, responsible for compliance failure should data be found missing that should have been saved.