Reading: Summary of Module 2
In Module 2, you have been introduced to the basic digital skills you need to master in order to be an active digital citizen.
Firstly, the aspect of online identity, as the sum of the features and interactions that describe ourselves on the web, which can be different from our real image in the physical world. We can have several online partial identities and, as in the real world, online identity is connected to reputation.
Secondly, directly related to digital identity is the concept of digital footprint, that is the information and data that we leave behind on the web when we do different online activities. Digital footprint can be passive, referring to the data that we leave unintentionally (IP address, search history...); or active, which are the data that we intentionally submit online (videos watched, emails sent, social media activities...). Therefore, it is important to be aware of the digital footprint and take into account aspects such as cookies configuration, passwords, privacy settings, software updates, etc.
Thirdly, as a result of our digital footprint that can contain private information, it is crucial to protect our digital privacy. The European Union takes online privacy very seriously. EU data protection rules guarantee the protection of your personal data, and is applicable to both organisations based within and outside (such as Facebook or Amazon) the EU, which offer online services in Europe, whenever these companies request or re-use the personal data of individuals in the EU.
Then, you have learnt what is a digital information bubble, that is related to the information and people that we follow online, since algorithms keep track of the things we look at online and create an “invisible filter”. A Filter bubble can have a negative impact on our critical thinking, since we can miss important information or points of view and live in a “biased version” of reality. This aspect is connected to be able to distinguish real and fake news, for example.
Some of the digitals tools included in the module related to the above mentioned aspects are: I’m not your product, a tool that helps to stop Facebook surveillance and reclaim some privacy; Have I Been PWNED, to check your digital footprint and know if an email address has been involved in any major data breaches; Privacy Badger, which analyses how we are being tracked online; or MentionMapp, which can be used to see relationships between hashtags, networks of tweeters.