Me and My Digital Shadow - Privacy and Security Education in the Digital Age

When we use digital services through our laptops or mobile phones, we leave digital traces that are retained, repacked and accessed by third parties. In some cases, our data is collected without our knowledge or consent. Anyone can potentially have access to this digital shadow - including ISPs, law enforcement agencies and companies, as well as groups and individuals running their own servers. Our digital shadow tells a story about us, which may or may not be true and, at any point in time, we cannot know precisely what happens to our digital shadow and that itself is a problem. These are important issues for everyone, but this is especially problematic for young people who rarely understand the long-term implications of their online behaviours, which makes them vulnerable to serious consequences in real life. Despite the Snowden revelations, few educational programmes exist so we teamed up with the NGO "Tactical Tech Collective" to design the online initiative, "Me & My Shadow", to allow ordinary users to visualise their traces, and explore ways to manage and mitigate them. Tactical Tech provides us with toolkits, guides, online resources and films for our project, which are produced in 6 languages and are available to us, while we develop a platform for the global dissemination of these ideas in the Global Shapers Community.

Together with other Global Shapers Hubs, we intend to leverage the Me & My Shadow project as a teaching device to educate local youth and provide them with the right tools to stay safe and sound in the digital world.