People are used to being scanned at different occasions, for example literally in a full body scanner at the airport. It can be during an army physical fitness test or when you apply for a loan or a new job. Nowadays all informations will be collected and stored by means of a computer – for that purpose they will be digitized. Usually these files will be stored on different media, or at least there is restricted access to this information.
So, we permanently undergo a series of separate “partial digitizations”.
Many people use the advantages of cloud computing. Their data are stored in a network of servers and storage media. As one only has a rough idea about where the data are, one can think of it as a “cloud”.
In the digital age each living social human being permanently sends a plurality of information snippets (called “Schnipsels”) into the cloud. These Schnipsels can be informations about the places where you have been (GPS data from your smart phone), things you buy, who your Facebook friends are, personal data you send to an online dating service or diseases you are afraid of and which you google. Some of these information we send voluntarily into the cloud, others are collected without our knowledge. For example the “Internet of things” is an unlimited source of informations. And what we can imagine is only the tip of the iceberg. “Big data” means an incredible amount of data is available and a new quality of data analysis is possible with consequences beyond our fantasy.
Now imagine all these Schnipsels related to one person were correlated and put together for some purpose – this would be the result of what we can call a “Social Digitization”.