Unit 3 – Question 1

  1. We have shared a few examples of how information can be extracted from data (such as in your images). What are other ways humans can leave traces of information with the use of technologies?

When going online, people and their information are more vulnerable than ever since pieces of data could be used to track and trace back to them. What is even more alarming is the fact that most of us are not totally aware that they are sharing more than just a picture on Facebook. In fact, they are sharing the location, the time it was taken or the file type, all of which are embedded in one single data: the picture.


Some instances of potential information leak involve user’s location. Navigation services like Google Maps would ask for your permission to access your exact location to enhance the direction and road suggestions. By choosing “allow”, you are giving away information regarding where you are at a specific time, your desired destination, and by following the live navigation, your location is constantly updated throughout your journey. Similarly, some shipping companies who cooperate with online shopping platforms allow customers to track their order using a code which requires absolutely no password. The problem here is that anyone can track a random order and some scammers have done exactly so, by collecting the address, phone number and deliver an empty box in exchange for cash. Mindless sharing on social media also poses numerous risks. Back in September 2009, when Vietnamese in two major cities posted stories and photos showing off their “green card” – the Covid-19 vaccination certificate, a lot of people got their personal information, including their ID number, leaked because they didn’t hide the QR code that contains all of it.

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