Digital Footprints

Do you ever wonder what really happens with the digital footprints you leave?

By now, most people are familiar with the fact that “their information” is being collected and shared with third parties they’ve never even heard of. As with many things, this was happening well before the digital age, but the Internet has made the practice bigger, faster, better and — more international.

Whatever you may think of your own government collecting data about your activities, have you considered the possibility that other governments may be creating a picture of you? Aynne Kokas discusses the implications and realities in the controversy around the TikTok ban in the US and concerns about American citizens’ information being ritually collected by the country of origin of that service.

And even if that data is not being exfiltrated to foreign lands, should you be concerned about how your habits and activities are being used to shape your opinions and lead you down the garden path, so to speak? Bruce Schneier explores with us the implications of amassing data about users on the Internet.

Finally, as noted above, tracking peoples’ activities is not unique to the Internet. Retailers have long been planning store layouts to guide customers to particular items (impulse buying fresh baked goods on entering the store! being unable to escape the IKEA maze without passing through every department!), and now the observations and inferences of behaviour have gone high tech and tightly integrated across the Internet. Keith Kirkpatrick discusses the highs and the lows of retailers tracking customer footprints — digital and otherwise.

Join us for this timely topic as we traipse digitally through end of year and online holiday activities!

  • Aynne Kokas — When your online activities leave footprints on foreign soil (December 9, 2020)
  • Bruce Schneier — How your digital footprint makes you the product (December 16, 2020)
  • Keith Kirkpatrick — Real world retail comes with a side of digital surveillance (December 23, 2020)

Happy holidays!