The digital identity, our online portrait

The digital identity is linked to the information about a person, a company, an association or an object available online. It is mostly referring to a person and its profile. The digital identity has been more developed with the digitalization of information. It gives us the possibility to have any kind of data about a research through internet. 

In some situations, it is helpful and necessary to have the possibility to have within easy reach, in a couple of minutes, an information. However, there is some information that we might want to keep private. For example, some of our personal information such as a date of birth, a picture, username and password, personal address, online research, money pools we participated to, or digital signature that are unfortunately more and more available online. Once in a while without our awareness. It is the portrait of our lives which is on the world wide web.

The European Union takes in serious consideration the respect and the protection of personal data. That’s the reason why the dispose of personal data by European institutions, offices, agencies, bodies and the diffusion of those data is regulate since October 2018 by the Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 from the European Parliament and the European Council. 

Moreover, once an information is online it can be difficult or impossible to delate it. But, how can we know which ones of our data is online? And who is precisely having it, using it and for which reasons? Internet is a vast platform and its use it not well known from all of us. This is why it is undoubtedly important to have a knowledge of the data we provide to the web and to organizations. Being able to manage our digital identity as we would like, seems to be a difficult mission for some of us. However, it is not an impossible one, if we take time to: 

  • look closely to our online activity, 
  • know from which companies we accept the terms and conditions,
  • be aware of the information we decide to give while we are subscribing to a list
  • pay attention to our posts on social media (e.g. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…)
  • understand with whom the data will be shared (in fact, some companies are asking the possibility to share your data with them partners)
  • pay attention to the proposition already checked or their formulation (“I do not want to receive the newsletter)

To do so, the GPRD law is helping us to know more about how our personal data can be used, stored, collected by companies. 

The data protection regulation is fundamental for the European citizens. It gives them more knowledge about the use of their data, allowing them to have the same rights all over the EU countries but also to regulate and control the management of their own data by companies/organizations. With the GPRD, the digital identity is more strenuously regulate. 

Nevertheless, we are the only ones who can truly control, at our best, our digital identity. A digital identity can be seen by anybody in the world and sometimes does not reflect entirely our real identity, or gives information we do not want to share. The knowledge and awareness of such conditions is nowadays essential, to make sure not to be surprised of results we could find while typing our name on a search engine.