From Snapchat and cameras to online banking, computers everywhere are collecting data. It can be an algorithm with facial recognition software, or more simply; a string of text that documents how long it can take to login to a website. These are out in the world for people, data analysts and IT departments everywhere and are revealing essential details about life.
At the foundation, what is occurring (with or without common knowledge), is an online persona is being developed for every person who logs time on the internet. That includes access to Facebook from smartphones, connecting to WIFI through a coffee shop, or even Snapchat on grandma’s personal network. Each piece of information is being collected and analyzed to determine different types of information. On a small scale, these details are reflected in smaller sequences or patterns through codes.
To many, our imprint on the digital world has minimal bearing on the globe, but the fact that this code may or may not be looked at by a set of human eyes can have large effects. What this information does, is tells a story about each person through the means of a digital footprint. This footprint indicates whom are the most connected through social media platforms and what information is most sought after from online services for example. But what can this information be used for?
On a small scale, digital data can be utilized for selective information such as credit loan applications or even in some cases, denial of them. The alternative is this same information is being used for positive uses such as identity security. All these same measures mentioned above are used both for an against for a result.
For example, a change in tracking is noticed by computer algorithms when a new or consistent action occurs. This action can be longer for buttons to be pushed, different type of computer or language on computer or duration login takes. An algorithm would identify these changes and determine if the changes are significant enough to warrant a flag being applied to the account. This flag, is then processed and forwarded to a human for analysis. If secondary analysis is determined to be necessary, then this is when a phone call is sent to the owner of the bank for example.
These are just a few of the smaller details that IT and security departments consider when developing algorithms to monitor data. These types of data are understood through a data science learning process often learned through IT Security Courses such as Hadoop, Risk Management and other big data analysis. Like it or not, the data we provide about ourselves is available, online and can be utilized by anyone who has access to it.
These little details are covered in the Terms & Conditions that need to be agreed to prior to being able to use a specific program etc. This is just one aspect to bear in mind when utilizing digital information.