Using Digital Footprints in Social Research: an Interdisciplinary Approach


  • Nina OLINDER Tolyatti State University
  • Alexey TSVETKOV
  • Konstantin FEDYAKIN Tolyatti State University
  • Kristina ZABURDAEVA Tolyatti State University



digital footprint, digitalization of public relations, artificial intelligence, “digital image of a person”


The aim of the study is to clarify the concept of the digital footprint in jurisprudence and social sciences and determine its meaning for interdisciplinary research. The subject of this work is the analysis of the concepts of “digital footprint”, “digital reputation”, “digital image of a person”. The article notes that special machine techniques are required to process digital traces. The ways of storage, transmission and use of digital traces are considered. The research identified the main problems of using digital information in public relations. Digital traces can be used in various studies in the humanities, social sciences: sociology, law, economics, psychology using interdisciplinary research methods.

The result of the study was the conclusion that digital information does not always mean a digital footprint. Digital information will have a digital footprint only when it is transferred from one user to another in an online environment, uploaded to a social network, etc. (in the case when it is possible to "trace" its movement). Thus, the "digital footprint" is the ability of information recorded in digital form, to leave special "marks" on the route from subscriber to subscriber, the ability to track such marks, receive information about its movement and transformation in order to collect, process and analyze these data.


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Author Biographies

Nina OLINDER, Tolyatti State University

(PhD in Law) is the Head of the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law of Tolyatti State University, Tolyatti, Russia. Her areas of interest include legal aspects of the digital environ­ment. Olinder is the author of 55 scientific publications.


(PhD in Law) is Associate Professor, Law Expert, Orenburg, Russia. Her areas of interest include jurisprudence, law, responsibility, legal relations. Tsvetkov is the author of 28 scientific publications.

Konstantin FEDYAKIN, Tolyatti State University

(PhD in law) is Associate Professor of the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law of Tolyatti State University, Tolyatti, Russia. His areas of interest include criminal proceedings. Fedyakin is the author of 8 scientific publications.

Kristina ZABURDAEVA, Tolyatti State University

Lecturer at the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law of Tolyatti State University, Tolyatti, Russia. Her areas of interest include investigative action. Zaburdaeva is the author of 4 scientific publications.


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How to Cite

OLINDER, N., TSVETKOV, A., FEDYAKIN, K., & ZABURDAEVA, K. (2020). Using Digital Footprints in Social Research: an Interdisciplinary Approach. WISDOM, 16(3), 124–135.