I Say That I Control My Digital Identity, My Laptop Says Otherwise

One of the major concerns about using the Internet is how much information and data is being stored. More importantly, how much of our personal information is being stored throughout the different websites that we use? Are we in control of keeping that information safe from other third party groups? Realistically, we cannot control our digital identity if we surf the internet on a day to day basis. You may have noticed some advertisements of those shoes you were thinking about purchasing instantly pop up on your screen while you are messaging friends on Facebook. How does this happen?

Majority of this happens because of browser cookies and the Terms of Service that are written on certain websites that we visit. For example, when registering for Facebook, everyone is given a very detailed Terms of Service statement to read and understand before going forward with being able to sign up for Facebook. Majority of technology users do not spend time reading the Terms of Service thoroughly which can become a major problem. Within these terms that many agree on, our data is being shared with other third party organizations to provide advertisements on Facebook’s website to provide a more user friendly experience by allowing the user to see things that he/she like. Additionally, websites ask if you will allow to accept cookies by using the website. Once again, many people accept the use of cookies but don’t realize that accepting cookies allows the browser and websites that we access to track and monitor our browsing sessions, saving information.

In the 3 Part article, “Who Owns the Digital You?” by Huffpost contributor Tim Chamber, Chamber elaborates on the idea of how little the websites we use controls our digital identity. Chamber remarks this idea of the data we accept from websites as a “digital echo” of who we really are. He also says that our identity can be compared to the analogy of a trade going on between us and the websites we agree to use. We agree to add “cookies to track us in limited ways, in exchange for better search results”.

As technology becomes more accessible to people around the world, privacy and the safety of our personal information will become something of the past and more of our digital identity would be controlled by the technologies that we use. However, this won’t be an easy task to overcome. The demand of technological use continues to increase and expand right before our eyes, making us feel incomplete if we aren’t using technology for our daily lives. The only question we can ask ourselves is: Is our personal information being exposed to many companies worth the use of technology?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *