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Keywords:

  • digital footprint;
  • digital persona;
  • privacy;
  • security;
  • surveillance

ABSTRACT. Herein, we discuss the desire for new technology, the need for security, and the right to privacy; in doing so, we argue that each of these concerns comprises an important, tripartite debate. To highlight the complexities in this problem, we define our notion of a “digital footprint” and introduce Big Foot—specialized software created for the research described here to facilitate visualization and exploration of the data that comprise Stephen Weaver's personal digital footprint. Using Big Foot we demonstrate how multiple digital personae can be created from the data that constitute one unique digital footprint and provide a methodology for understanding the good and bad impacts that new technologies may have on future societies. One of the primary arguments of this work is that the debate—though not formally recognized—is currently before contemporary society and must receive sufficient attention.