You probably already know that Google — the company behind the popular Chrome browser and the Android operating system — tracks you online, and even sends your personal info to the makers of apps you buy on Google Play. But did you know Google is also the largest sponsor of Mozilla, the nonprofit organization behind the Firefox web browser? Which probably helps explain why Do Not Track, a vital web privacy feature, is turned off by default in Firefox.
What DO all these things mean?
Especially when it comes to privacy, right?
Well, as it turns out, Microsoft is actually jumping on the privacy thing nowadays, because it’s something that sets it apart from Google (and in some ways from Mozilla). It’s the company behind that “Scroogled” site that points out Google’s privacy flaws, and it’s also started this other site at yourprivacytype.com that lets you take a quiz to find out “Your Privacy Type” — or what kind of person you are with respect to online privacy.
Your online privacy, brought to you by Microsoft
Of course, the quiz is basically a Microsoft advertisement. Whichever result you get, expect to be told all about how “Microsoft is finding ways to give you more control over things you want private,” and how its Internet Explorer web browser and even its Xbox game console have some feature or another that can be construed as protecting your personal info.
The results are also of varying usefulness. Not only did it call me “the Moderate” when I don’t even use Facebook, I got this ‘helpful’ description: “You strike a balance between the need to connect with your desire for privacy by limiting your social media sharing and using elevated privacy settings to protect your other online activities.”
What does it even mean to “connect with [my] desire for privacy?”
Having said that …
Just taking the quiz itself can be educational, since it asks you about things you can do to protect yourself that you may not have even known you could do. And if you use Microsoft products at all, the link it gives you at the end — to Microsoft’s main online privacy site — will also help educate you on the privacy settings for Windows, Skype, Bing, Xbox, Internet Explorer, and everything else the company makes.