Objectives: This article investigates the adequacy and the importance of visual and acoustic privacy inside homes from people in the open spaces of housing estates, and of visual privacy from people in neighboring homes. Through GIS software it is identified the number of people in the open spaces and of openings in the buildings, as well as the distance between them. It is also explored the relationship between these data and residents' attitudes concerning privacy, and the method of analysis used. The context and background literature: Privacy can be understood as social and cultural dimension of health and well being, and says about the possibility of control of interactions, be among people inside a building, among people in the interior and those in the exterior, or, still, among people in the open space. Privacy has been revealed as an important aspect for people, together with the basic needs of living in a house, affecting residents' satisfaction with their homes. Nonetheless, there is a need to better understand the relationship between people attitudes regarding internal visual and acoustic privacy, external people movement in the open spaces of housing estates, and distance between openings of housing units, specially, in Brazilian social housing. Methodology: Data were collected in 12 estates through questionnaires applied to residents of 374 units and through structured interviews. Behavior maps were used to register people in the open spaces of estates, and physical measurements, to indicate the buildings, other visual barriers and existent openings. Non-parametric statistical analysis was carried out, besides the analysis through GIS in four housing estates characterized by four storey blocks of flats.The findings: Among the main results are the adequacy of the analysis method through GIS and the inadequacy of the distances between the openings of the housing units and the external people movement routes in several estates. Moreover, it was found a relationship between degree of satisfaction with internal visual privacy in relation to neighboring blocks of flats, the mean distance between openings and the mean number of openings through which is possible to visualize each opening of the estate. The quantitative analysis, through GIS, of openings and people behavior, combined with quantitative and qualitative analysis of people attitudes, allow a better understanding of privacy as social and cultural dimension of well-being in residential environments. Applicability to the field & work to be done next: This may be applicable to the environment and behavior field of studies by promoting social sustainable planning and design. A further exploration of privacy, considering urban contexts with distinct social and cultural characteristics, may be a work to be done next.