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Digital identity

Digital identity

Digital identity definition

Traditionally, a digital identity was held to be information required to identify a particular individual, organization, or device for access to computer networks. A digital identity allowed users to connect to services and determined their privileges in a computer system.

In recent years, a new definition of digital identity has taken root in popular culture. In the broader context of online interaction, a digital identity is the sum total of a user’s non-anonymized online footprint. This digital identity (sometimes called an “online identity”) is part of the user’s social identity and is often linked to national identification systems.

Real digital identity attributes

  • Usernames and passwords of online accounts form a core part of your digital identity for networked or online services
  • Email addresses are a key piece of a digital identity, linking multiple accounts to the same individual
  • Online membership, search history, purchasing history, and geotagged information helps determine who you are by tying you to particular communities and habits
  • Dates of birth, social security numbers, and medical history link your online presence to information existing in official records

Further reading

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