When filled in with bits and bytes, I cast an interesting shadow.
And closer to the original man than I ever expected.
Long ago, I decided to be overly cautious in what I offered of myself publicly.
I've told readers about fearing for my life while on assignment, breaking down over murdered children, how I felt bad after beating the word thumb wrestling champ in front of his family and even about my vasectomy that didn't quite work.
But every detail shared has been deliberate. And cautious, that I never give away all of me.
But to know what's out there, I requested all the information several large U.S. data brokers had accumulated based on my name, home phone number or computer IP address.
While some consumer records can be chillingly complete, most data collectors barely scratched my surface, making broad or innocuous assumptions through public records and online searches.
Behavioural data provider BlueKai Registry noted several international airports and hotels I had researched. Acxiom Corporation, a Goliath of a marketing technology company with a worldwide reach, underestimated my age, didn't know I was married but noted my family is Christian.
To dig deeper, I asked experts at 9th sphere, a Toronto-based Internet marketing firm specializing in managing online reputations, to investigate me.
For someone who tries to manage his privacy while doing a public job, what they found would amount to a thick file.
In less than 10 hours, they went down the long list of not only assignments in China, Afghanistan, Haiti and England, but in some cases when I landed and when I flew home.
They found the first mention of me online -- a story from 1992.
But it was the private side that was the most telling.
They found my private cell number. They knew where I was born and knew my friends -- and not through Facebook.
They came close to my age and talked about my middle child's prom.
They reminded me of my upcoming 24th wedding anniversary, knew when I graduated and, using my Twitter account, found the cross-streets closest to my home.
Then there was the porn star. They found adult actress Jessica Drake had requested a private conversation with me via Twitter. Don't ask. If it pushes up my street cred, all the better.
They would have found more flesh if given time.
And your file could be thicker than mine.
"You've managed to keep relatively private," says 9th sphere president, Ezra Silverton of my profile. "Most people publish more information about themselves every day."
Canadians are concerned about privacy -- our Leger Marketing poll makes that plain -- yet we all want to be part of the conversation.
Ezra says one theory has the next generation becoming more anonymous -- a wave of ghosts.
But he's not convinced. Not when people still offer up so much so often.
But what's now out there will cause me, on some level, to be more private.
Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you the story of what the porn star wanted.
But today, I'm more inclined to keep certain things to myself.