Q. What is BigFoot Digital Footprint Awareness?A. The digital representation of the self.

It is the digital self (the digital citizen) and the resulting actions of the digital self (what I'm doing online and I'm doing things online) and all others interacting (clicking, sharing, commenting, describing) with that self. Furthermore, researchers of this project are noticing, of the users whom have gone through the BigFoot Digital Footprint Facebook experiment, many aren't aware of their own digital footprint. The best metaphor for this phenomenon is that digital citizens are different citizens when away from a computer. Who we say we are, and who we become online are two very different concepts. AI is beginning to shape us up as 2 different people. Finally, digital citizens must ask themselves, what does this mean for me, the digital citizen?

Q. How did BigFoot Digital Footprint come about as a research project?A. Data ethics and policy.

The creators of BigFoot.ie knew data ethics and data security were conversations ripe for the picking. The web, having been originally developed by Berners-Lee, was always meant to be an open-source, content-sharing platform. It was to drive education and conversation. Due to the mass popularization, and the rush to monopolize on audience presence, it soon became monetized. In exchange for free use of online technology (social media platforms, search engine use, business links, etc.) companies received your information, your click-behaviour. Most companies providing free services profit by selling off your click-behaviour to advertisers and third-party sources.

By developing the technology that is BigFoot.ie, audiences have more options to learn about their online presence while empowering themselves to regain controls over their use of the web.

Q. Where is BigFoot and who works with it?A. Academically-led research for the general public.

BigFoot.ie is a research project developed by academics studying ethics and data security within the ADAPT Centre of Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Q. When did the conversation/tech begin?A. ADAPT Centre, AYLIEN and experts in Text and Sentiment Analysis.

In 2015, researchers at the ADAPT Centre of Digital Content Technology through Trinity College Dublin teamed up with local expert groups, Galleries (this included Science Gallery Dublin) and Startups (including AYLIEN-experts in Text and Sentiment Analysis). From here the BigFoot initiative was born.

The app and project may have originated from Dublin, Ireland, but it certainly does not limit itself to region or location. Users curious about their online presence are welcomed to download the app, join in the conversation through BigFoot.ie in the blog and disqus forums to speak about issues of digital awareness.

Q. What is PEST?A. Public Engagement of Science and Technology.

This scientific paradigm knows, when the public is brought into hte development of research and growth at the earlier stages, an end result is achievable. Meaning, a platform of trust and confidence is shared, public concerns are addressed, the technology has new insight, and policy reform results.

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