Generated as a byproduct of activity on digital devices, digital exhaust is all the data from a person’s internet, mobile, and connected device activity.
Typically this data is part of the service provider’s infrastructure, whether for analysis or marketing purposes.
The digital data is captured and stored on disparate servers owned by the companies that create the products in use.
While this data is rarely owned by the user of the products, it is to be considered part of one’s digital ecosystem given how much relevant information it holds.
Perhaps in the future we’ll have some way to merge our main digital environments—such as our web of thinking—with our digital exhaust to see what patterns and insights we can identify. Don’t forget: Data ≠ Insight.