As the video illustrates, all of us (especially those born in the last 20 years) will have some form of digital dossier. As soon as we are born, information starts being recorded about us and generates “digital tracks”. Some of the information in our dossier will be publicly accessible and some will be private and protected by the agencies who generate the records or information. Some of the information will be collected without our knowledge or direct consent, while other pieces of information will be recorded by us on purpose. In the digital age everything from sonograms, to marriage licenses, to photos are kept in digital repositories. Canada is even slowly rolling out a Digital health Initiative whereby all medical records will be available online. Often times online we accidentally reveal more information about ourselves than is actually necessary, for example when we allow cookies to be installed on our browsers, or when we provide information to companies that is not mandatory. Do you know what’s in your digital dossier?
Do you know how to manage the parts of your dossier that you have control over?
Some things to consider:
- Be cognizant when filling out online forms, usually only things marked with an asterix are required. By providing more information than necessary you are impacting the scope of your digital dossier.
- What does a Google search on your name tell you about the kind of info that is publicly available about you? Are you OK with what you find? If not, you may want to review the Protect section of this site.
- Who will manage your digital dossier when you die? There are companies (like Legacy Locker) that will take this on for a fee. Is this important to you?
- Remember to always consider how what you post online might impact other people’s digital dossiers.
The Digital Tattoo Project encourages critical discussion on topics surrounding digital citizenship and online identity. There are no correct answers and every person will view these topics from a different perspective. Be sure to complete the previous sections before answering the questions.
Your ‘digital dossier’ is comprised of the information about you available online and is under construction long before you begin to post content.
- What impact do you think that has on your identity formation?
- Do you find it interesting that digital dossiers continue to grow even after death?