We do not have to demonstrate anymore that we have entered the digital trace paradigm. The migration of our many daily activities towards the digital landscape causes the massive production of computerized traces, a translation of the world into computer data. This semiotic construction of the trace as data can be regarded as the starting point for the comprehension of the effects of digital traces on individuals, social relationships, collectivity, and society. In this sense, computerized circuits for the automated production of meaning represent the first part of our presentation and will allow us to think about the massive production of traces, also known as the phenomenon of Big Data. Secondly, we will talk about several ethical and epistemological issues that are raised by the question of massive digital traces production. We will put forward the necessity of reevaluating the definition of the trace when there is talk about the digital trace in the context of massive digital data production.
Photos by : NASA Marshall Space Flight Center