The internet is a large place, with terabytes on terabytes of information about almost everything. You as an individual take up a part of that. Imagine your “digital” self being out in the web for everyone to see. But do you really own that part of you? Do you have control over your own information on the internet? Who really owns the digital you? Tim Chambers, a contributor of the Huffington Post wrote a three-piece article, Who Owns the Digital You?, questioning this exact situation.
It is as if our privacy and our own business is no longer just ours. When going into different websites, Many of them take in certain informations, whether it be them takes cookies(the online ones, not real cookies) or asking for your location. With these, many companies can see your recent searches, internet history, sometimes even private information like your email or recent contacts. Even on social medias such as Facebook, we input private information ourselves, such as our birthday and email, with the illusion that our information will be kept confidential. Instead, big corporate companies are using these to their advantage. With all this on the web, there is no doubt that we would question if we own our digital identities.
Many online services have you agree to terms of services before using it. Of course, no one wants to take the time to read through many pages of words: they just want to be using their Facebook or Snapchat. What people don’t realize is that in those terms we give up certain personal information and letting these big companies use them as they please. Most of the time, entering these personal information won’t benefit your using experience with whatever app or service you are using, but these companies can sell your information to third-parties such as advertising platforms, or even stockpile this data in hopes of monetizing it one day. They think no one will pay for their service, so they secretly make them “pay” with their personal information to use their services.
Everyone that uses the internet is in a “digital war” with big companies that are trying to take over your digital identity. We have to take precaution and make sure that our business stays as our business.