I'm reading a book and in the terms-definition section, there is a phrase that I can't understand!

Card Content: Code and Application information (but not Application data) contained in the card that is under the responsibility of the OPEN e.g. Executable Load Files, Application instances, etc

I want to know, what is the difference between data and information?

Would you please explain with examples?

Q2: Does code and application information mean "information of code and information of application" or mean "code + information of application"?

Source of the text that is quoted: GPCardSpec_v2.2.pdf (page 5)

  • It is recommended to quote the source of your text properly. I think your example is almost the exact duplicate of this patent: google.com/patents/US20140134981. Sep 8, 2014 at 12:48
  • @DamkerngT. It is a part of GlobalPlatform specification v 2.2 Sep 8, 2014 at 12:57
  • It is still highly recommended to add that information (and a link for context, maybe) to your question.
    – oerkelens
    Sep 8, 2014 at 13:05
  • @oerkelens Added! :) Sep 8, 2014 at 13:13

3 Answers 3


I have learned a long time ago (when PC's where still a rumour) that information is data that is usable (the definition was a bit longer). It came down to the idea that a phonebook contains a lot of data, but only the number I look up in it is considered information.

This definition can still be used in a strict sense, but in practice, I notice that information often describes something, whereas data refers to "stuff" that belongs to and is used by or in an application.

So Code and Application information could be two things (your Q2 — it can mean both):

  • The code that makes up the application and information about the application.
  • Information about both the code that makes up the application and about the application itself.

The explicit exclusion of Application data refers to the data that is used inside the application, such as user generated content, default data, screen layouts, up to a complete database.

The difference is mainly in the fact that application data can be a lot of data, and it is normally only accessible by the application itself. The information in your "card content" is the information that is needed to execute the application, but it does not contains the data that is used by the application.


I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a dictionary definition that clearly distinguishes "data" from "information".

But in practice, the words do have slightly different connotations. I think "data" is generally understood to meet distinct, specific, measurable facts, like the population of each country in the world or the credit card number of each customer. "Information" is used more generally to refer to all sorts of facts and ideas. Like, you might say that instructions on how to bake a meatloaf are "information", but you wouldn't normally call that "data".

Also, the word "data" comes from the computer world, and so is most specifically used to describe information going into or coming out of a computer. People use it in non-computer context mostly when they want to sound very clinical and precise. Like a politician might say, "I can't give an opinion on the proposed bill until I have collected more data." People in casual conversation would be unlikely to say, "We can't decide where to go on vacation until we have collected more data."


Chambers (link) gives the meaning of data as

pieces of information or facts, esp. obtained by scientific observation OR a collection of information processed by a computer.

For information, it says

knowledge gained or given; facts; news OR the communicating or receiving of knowledge OR especially telecomm, computing a signal or character which represents data.

It seems like there is a huge overlap.

When we look at the derivations, the nuanced differences become a little clearer. data is from the latin meaning 'things given', and information is from the latin meaning 'conception of an idea'.

So data is really a whole bunch of observations and facts. Information is when the meaning (possibly about a collection of little facts) is conveyed into the mind of a person.

Except when it means exactly the same as data.

However, in the instance you raise, it seems that they are meaning information about the application and its configuration, as opposed to the data processed by the application.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .