Theory: Identity Security and Privacy in Cyberspace

So far I have been exploring the concepts relating to self-identity and data sharing. Thus, I decided to look more into the impact of data sharing on the security and privacy of our identity. I found a journal article written by Nurse who states that ‘the use of technology can be a double-edged sword: in addition to the benefits, there can be some significant risks to the security and privacy of our identities online’ (Nurse, 2015). From this quote, it can be safe to say that I have so far been on the right track with wanting to highlight the dangers within the use of this technology as they do exist and are very relevant in our modern society and thus, it is vital that these negative issues are addressed more often. I am aware that the Internet could provide amazing possibilities such as communication at long distances but everything that I have been exploring so far as well as this article have all made me wonder whether all of this is actually worth it?

Nurse also supported his arguments by saying that ‘whether we like it or not, we (and our devices on our behalf) are leaking oodles of sensitive identity information, and others are listening’ (Nurse, 2015). This once again reinforces the danger of these technologies and the need for bringing awareness to this topic through my own website. Additionally, he stated that ‘the online advertising market expected to be worth 220.38 billion dollars by 2019, the identity data of individuals, their preferences, and movements are of immense value to advertising agencies for profiling and targeted marketing’ (Nurse, 2015). I have previously mentioned that we are targeted and controlled by advertising agencies on the Internet but this quote actually demonstrates how profitable we are to these agencies and how the data we share everyday ends up being used without our awareness for monetary purposes. They are thus an ‘entity capable of gathering all the data you expose and using it to gain access to the very fabric of your identity'(Nurse, 2015). 

The main concept that I think will be vital for my project is the risky practice of Internet users which is oversharing. According to Nurse, ‘oversharing, as the name suggests, refers to the sharing of excessive amounts of information online about one’s identity, movements, and activities’ (Nurse, 2015). His use of this concept oversharing provided a critical theoretical background that I think will help me structure my website. I was inspired by his article to potentially address these issues of oversharing and identity in my website. I now want to look at art pieces or art projects that have also addressed these issues in order to see how they have approached these concepts. I think this will let me gain inspiration that will then help me construct my own project.


Nurse, J. (2015). Exploring the Risks to Identity Security and Privacy in Cyberspace. XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, 21(3), pp.42-47.


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