Digital Traces

Published on 30 September 2022 at 15:34

Silent Spring Consultants were involved in a UK Research Council funded project exploring how digital traces – the small, apparently innocuous pieces of personal information, generated through interactions with/in networked systems over time, collectively pose significant yet unanticipated risks to personal and organisational reputations security. 

Digital traces from personal data may be shared intentionally by an individual or could be shared about an individual by others. Such traces can be social media posts, recognition software that identifies and tags people and places automatically or common cross-authentication practices that favour convenience over security (e.g., signing into AirBnB via Facebook). Brought together, these digital traces can provide unintended insights about an individual's personal habits, work patterns, personality, emotion, and social influence. Collectively these digital traces have the potential to create adverse consequences for that individual (e.g., through reputational damage), their employer (e.g. by creating opportunities for cybercrime), and even for national security.