Research on privacy has been dominated by a limited access perspective for the past 60 years. Researchers have focused upon privacy as a behavioral phenomenon and a practical tool used from moment to moment to create boundaries and rules for their own, and other’s behavior. The primary theories of privacy articulated by Westin and Altman treat privacy as either a means of mitigating an individual’s vulnerabilities or as an interconnected series of behavioral mechanisms for organizing information and relationships. Most work on privacy remains theoretical, and little empirical data has been explored. This work summarizes the main perspectives in privacy research and associated theories, while examining empirical data which relates to how individuals organize some of those behavioral mechanisms articulated in Altman’s theory of privacy. The goal is to integrate empirical data into the broader theoretical framework surrounding privacy. The data come from a nationally-representative web-based panel of U.S. adults.