Data, Privacy, and Identity Drag and Drop Cards

Below you will find a drag and drop exercise meant to prompt discussion around data privacy. The exercise is a thought experiment and may be done individually or in a group.


Drag the grey data point cards up under the orange header with the data use scenario that you feel most comfortable with. Note this exercise is a thought experiment of self-reflection not technicalities. Don’t get caught up in trying to figure out a companies’ actual data practice, terms of use, or privacy policy (that is important work but not needed for this exercise).

Once finished, continue to scroll down the page for some questions and further consideration.


By design, this tool DOES NOT save, track, or collect any responses.

If you would like to save your responses we suggest that you take a screenshot before leaving or refreshing the page. *Technical help on taking screenshots can be found here.

After you have sorted the cards to your liking consider these questions:

  • Did any of the cards surprise you?
  • Who did you imagine sharing data with in these contexts? Some of the cards say it (ie. Amazon, Netflix) but for others who were you thinking of as you placed the data points? Did you consider governments as well as companies?
  • If working in a group, were there any notable disagreements about where to place certain cards? If working alone, were there any choices that were difficult to make?
  • Where is your trust put in making these selections? What are the consequences if that trust is broken?
  • Would you change the position of any card if it impacted your usability of that platform? (ie. recommender algorithms often will not function without personal data)

The final big question for this exercise is to consider how your identity influences where you place the cards. Different people, especially those from typically marginalized populations and those who are given greater data responsibilities, may need to make very different selections. Scroll down further to try the Elements of Identity Randomizer and consider if you held any of these elements of identity if you might change the way you sort the cards.

Elements of Identity Randomizer

After having sorted the cards according to your own preference and where you would like to have your data points placed, consider how identity informs the placement.

Use the little randomizer below to spark your imagination. Would you change where you put the cards if your identity had one of these? Imagine other elements of identity that would impact where the cards are placed.

This interactive sorting exercise has been adapted from the Data, Privacy, and Identity card game by Jeannie Crowley, Ed Saber, and Kenny Graves, and is used under a Creative Commons 4.0 CC-BY license.

Image credits:

Markus Spiske on Unsplash 
Grant McCurdy on Unsplash
SplitShire from Pixabay