Photo: iStock/ Wenjie Dong

Your Digital Identity Has Three Layers

  • Viewpoint
  • Posted by Good ID team (Good ID)
  • 10 December 2019

Panoptykon Foundation co-founder and president, Katarzyna Szymielewicz, illustrates the reality of privacy and data protection (or lack thereof) in an age of digital targeting algorithms

In this viewpoint for Quartz, Szymielewicz reviews the “caricature” of online profiles used to target advertising and marketing, vet for credit applications, or screen job applicants. 

Such profiles - “data doubles” - can be created by user-shared data, but also by tech companies and advertisers who interpret shared data as well as machine generated data based on browsing habits.

As Szymielewicz argues, what users’ behavior tells computers and what those machines extrapolate about the users’ lives cannot be directly controlled by the individual themselves – thus, profiles can sometimes be created more on assumptions than facts. Such profiles are being used for increasingly important transactions in real life, like mortgage applications, social credit systems, or job recruitment.

Szymielewicz looks to the GDPR and a recent shift in corporate perspective to encourage less machine-driven data brokerage and more direct user control of what information is shared with advertisers, insurers, employers and other third parties.

As Szymielewicz states:

The only way to regain full control over our profiles is to convince those who do the profiling to change their approach. Instead of manipulation, let’s have a conversation

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