Info Page

What are digital footprints?

Digital Footprints are digital artefacts that persist, whenever you use a digital tool, platform or service. Such artefacts can differ by quantity and quality. They may range from files you share willingly, like photographs, texts or posts, things you like, mention or comment, but they can also be recorded behind the scenes data you leave in server logs, cookies and such.

What does this mean to me?

Researchers have investigated in digital footprints since many years and found, that they mostly have negative consequences for individuals. It makes them more transparent and vulnerable to marketing campaigns and other influences. Further, some of the digital footprints have the potential to harm somebodies reputation after years and destroy one's career. On the other hand, researchers also found positive effects of digital footprints, when they are used consciously. A complete understanding of digital footprints is lacking, as a 'measurement' depends on cultural, moral and invidual beliefs and convictions.

What does this site offer?

This site offers an easy to use tool to estimate, how a particular digital tool affects the personal digital footprints based on a subjective perception. Users receive a recommendation in textual and visual form, and a comparison with the mean estimation.

Why is demographic data raised?

The demographic data is raised for scientific purposes to prove the model. The model until now not empirically verified. It may be verified in the future using also your contribution. Until then, it serves as a starting point for reflection about your usage behaviour of online tools.

Is the raised data secure?

Before you can use this tool, some demographic data must be entered. Please note, that the only attribute that may be used for identification, which is your mail address, is only stored hashed and salted. That means, that the use of a unidirectional hashing algorithm together with the use of a unique "salt", your mailaddress is made unreadable. Also, if the whole database was leaked, nobody would be able to re-identify the mail address without knowledge of the salt.

Who is responsible for this site?

In case you have further questions or suggestions, please contact Robert Schrenk