The Ultimate Privacy Test: Who (Or What) Knows You Best?

Friends know your biggest triumphs, your personal struggles and your deepest secrets. You consider this to be a choice – who you confide in, who you trust, with whom you share your most personal information. We are continually aware of the people we let into our lives, but what about computers? Does Facebook know more about you than your own friends and family?

Data Privacy Day is the perfect excuse to bring awareness to a  universal concern – a concern that surreptitiously sneaks its way into everyday life. Generally speaking, you probably understand that data is collected about you every time you click a website, shop online, participate in social sharing, allow location services to connect to your devices, or send digital messages.

In a recent study, researchers determined who (or what) was the  ultimate expert of an individual’s personality – a colleague,  friend, family member, spouse, or computer. Referencing psychology’s Big Five personality traits – openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness, the study associated Facebook preferences with analogous personality traits. Shockingly, the computer served as the strongest personality predictor.

After examining 10 Facebook likes, the computer beat out a colleague. After 70, the computer exceeded a friend. After 150, the computer was more accurate than a family member, and after 300 likes, even a spouse couldn’t rival Facebook. Computers were able to outperform humans simply by analyzing a participant’s Facebook likes. Scary, right?

Digital footprints have become more and more relevant — especially with connectivity maturing into a cultural phenomenon. Our digital identities are integral to our reputation, and this study only affirms how privacy laws and technologies are desperately needed. Looking to protect your digital footprint? Follow these security guidelines.


Want to find out if Facebook has cracked your personality puzzle? Take the assessment here, and prepare to be amazed.