Title: A size and impact analysis of digital footprints

Authors: Chia-Chi Teng; Whitney Maxwell

Addresses: School of Technology, Brigham Young University, 701 E. University Parkway, Provo, UT 84602, USA ' Rapid7, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Abstract: Personal information accessible online can be known as a digital footprint. While most of us have a digital footprint in today's technological society, few if any, know what it encapsulates or how to manage it. Technology and personal information are becoming more intertwined as we become more dependent on technology with everyday activities. In addition to basic information such as names, addresses, and phone numbers; personal information also includes one's demographic, interests and shopping history which is used by businesses to track consumers spending and even predict future purchases. With such wide variety of personal information being captured and exposed online, not all are equally valuable or personally unique. This study proposes methods to identify the content, size and impact of an individual's digital footprint by measuring the discoverability of various types of personal information.

Keywords: technology; information security; personal information; information privacy; open source intelligence; OSINT.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBSR.2021.113418

International Journal of Business and Systems Research, 2021 Vol.15 No.2, pp.163 - 181

Received: 23 Apr 2019
Accepted: 07 Oct 2019

Published online: 15 Dec 2020 *

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