By Terrence RosenJanuary 17, 2018

Have you left your footprint on the Internet?

Have you used the internet? Undoubtedly the answer is a “yes”. If not for the internet you won’t be reading this article. If you’ve used the internet, it implies that you have left your digital foot print on it. A “digital foot” print is a trail of data you create when using the internet.

These footprints can either be passive or active. Whenever you log in to a web site it gets your IP address without your knowledge. This IP address indentifies your Internet Service provider and your approximate location. The good news is that it does not include your personal information but it adds to your active digital footprint which you intentionally leave behind by submitting personal details online. They can be the data you share in social media or even your search history that is saved on search engines.

Earlier, our digital foot print mainly contained personal information, but now our faces are becoming part of it. We all know that Facebook uses face recognition since 2010 to identify and tag users. Apple Inc.’s iPhone X uses facial recognition to identify the owner. This is a clear indication that your data is vulnerable and open to destruction.  That might be the reason why tough EU laws are coming in to force starting from May with the aim of giving back citizens the control of their data. It is believed that these GDRP- General Data Protection Regulation; will turn personal data into a commodity which is so valuable that citizens can share and sell their data for their own benefit.

Here is some surprising news! In a world where everyone shares their personal data, there is one such person who has never shared a picture of himself. He is Jonathan Hirshon, a public relations professional who has managed to stay anonymous for the past 20 years.  He has more than 3,000 friends on Facebook and shares updates regularly, but zero pictures of him. “I choose to share virtually everything about myself on social media, but my face is the essence of me individually and this is about refusing to give up the last piece of identifiable information that I can control” said Jonathan Hirshon.

He does have a point doesn’t he? Yet is it realistic to maintain facial identity given the fact that the internet is the least anonymous place on Earth? It’s debatable. Better watch out for what you leave on the internet until the GDRP laws are introduced.

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