What’s your privacy personality?

A little over a week ago, MSNBC.com ran a series of articles directed at 3 different groups, based on what I am calling their “privacy personality.” I’ve created a short (and very unscientific test) that allows you to find out what your privacy personality is and links you to the best article for you:

1. How many social networks do you belong to?
a) I lost count around a dozen.
b) Just 2 or 3 big ones – probably facebook and linkedin.
c) social networks? I have them over for dinner a couple times a month.

2. What do you think of when you see “HTTPS”?
a) I must have mistyped the website url.
b) It’s the first thing I look for when I bank online.
c) I’m not taking this test because your blog doesn’t support HTTPS.

3. How many different U.S. federal laws protect your privacy?
a) Isn’t is all covered in the Bill of Rights? 1st and 4th?
b) You’ve got HIPAA, COPPA, that one that protects my video rental history… there’s dozens of them, and probably dozens of loopholes.*
c) Privacy protection? I’m all there is, this is my Alamo.

4. Is it illegal for your financial institution to share or sell your personal information?
a) Of course its illegal, it has to be illegal. It is illegal, right?
b) It is illegal – because I opted out under Gramm-Leach-Bliley.
c) My money is stored in my mattress.

If you answered mostly A, read:
The big difference between ‘open’ and ‘at risk’

If you answered mostly B, read:
Why should I care about digital privacy?

If you answered mostly C, read:
Don’t freak out: Paranoids can go online too

As you may have realized by now, the first article addressed people who just do not seem concerned with privacy; they’ve never changed their Facebook privacy settings and they believe the existence of privacy policy, no matter what it actually says, protects them. The second group, which is where many Americans tend to fall, are “the people who say they care, but contradict themselves” with their actions. These are the people who may have their Facebook privacy settings on high, but still view their Facebook accounts using unsecured wireless connections at the local coffee shop. The final group are those people who are so worried about their privacy they have probably never been on MSNBC because they browse the Internet as little as possible. Their anxiety prevents them from joining Facebook and customer loyalty programs.

Which group did you fall in? What did reading the MSNBC series teach you?

* Peter Comstock, a Virigina resident, filed suit earlier this week against Netflix, Inc. alleging that their service violates the Video Privacy Protection Act by retaining customer information even after the service has been canceled.

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