Identyti: Digital Storage of Personal Identification Documents; The Evolution of Online Marketing and the Implications of its Current Practices

Han, Chris, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

This capstone project is a cloud storage web application called “Identyti,” similar to services like Google Drive. The purpose of Identyti is to store and organize users’ official documents such as driver’s licenses and tax forms. Once uploaded to Identyti, the documents can be shared to official enterprises or institutions such as the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Internal Revenue Service. The motivation for this product is to facilitate the process of applying and submitting official documents. Most government-related applications require people to provide a physical copy of the required documents. These documents, such as a social security card, can be easily lost or destroyed. Identyti provides a secure and reliable access to these documents by taking advantage of today’s cloud capabilities.

This STS research paper investigates how advertising has adapted to a more interconnected, online society over the 2010s. As access to the Internet and quality of online platforms improved, the Internet became people’s main method of consuming media. Because the Internet allows for two-way communication, advertisements have improved immensely since 2010. Collection of user data has allowed marketing agencies to target consumers with personalized advertisements. The use of personal data by social media and advertising companies has raised concerns over privacy. These privacy concerns are evaluated in order to answer the question: how has online marketing changed from 2010-2019 and how are users responding to the potential privacy implications? This research is conducted within the framework of technological momentum. As social media platforms improved, more people began using them creating an ideal audience for advertisements. Social media companies recognized the value of the personal data users put on their website as well as the large number of users and began investing into their advertising infrastructure to improve user tracking and advertising targeting since advertising became the main, if not the only, source of revenue for these social media companies. It is expected that this research will reveal that social media companies are developing advertisements to become more profitable at the expense of user data, which helps answer a common question in STS: is all technological advancements good for society?

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Digital Advertising, Technological Momentum, Social Media, Online Marketing

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Ahmed Ibrahim
STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook
Technical Team Members: Eric Burbach, Sri Jayakumar, Samantha Kostleni, Gio Lee, Amanda Murray

Issued Date: