Before engaging with this topic, I was aware that any personal information I supplied on the Web could be stored and collected. However, I never really considered the aftermath of this – the creation of an online identity.
Having had little experience with multiple online identities and ‘false’ identities, researching the advantages and disadvantages of such was particularly insightful – it highlighted issues regarding privacy, trust and integrity. As such, Saber argues that the Web is full of anonymous and out-of-date identities, thus making it difficult for us to trust other online individuals. However, this is not a recent issue, the issue of privacy and security online has always been one of the major drawbacks of the Web.
I believe that it is the lack of control that I would possess over my own identity, which deters me from becoming a ‘Digital Resident’. As soon as I am tagged in a picture or invited to an event, my identity changes and evolves – it is out of my control. However, Sarah brings to light the control that anonymity provides through multiple identities. Though this brings into question an individual’s integrity and begs the question: with so many online identities, real and false, how can we be sure that when interacting with someone online, perhaps through social networking, that they are who they say they are?
As a result, Irinie emphasises the use of multiple identities for the ‘right’ purposes. Though the number of individuals using multiple identities to conduct faceless online crimes is minimal, it is still a concern for many users and deters many ‘Digital Visitors’ from expanding their use of the Web. This once again highlights the various benefits and drawbacks of the Web, all of which need to be considered before creating an online identity.
My Comments On:
1. Sarah’s Blog