Abstract Wireless sensor networks are vulnerable to various attacks and network dynamics that can breach data privacy and harm data availability. Since those threats cannot be addressed purely by cryptography-based methods, this paper presents a data dissemination scheme that can enhance two goals: data privacy and data availability, leveraging the node location diversity presented in typical wireless sensor networks rather than relying on cryptographic techniques. We demonstrate that the message content is important to quantify the uncertainty associated with data privacy and data availability, and provide content-based definitions utilizing information states. Further, to strike the balance between two conflicting goals in an energy efficient way, we construct a spatial privacy graph based on the locations of network nodes, and use a distributed coloring scheme to ensure that any pairs of nodes whose combined data provide too much information should not send their sensed data to the same storage node. Additionally, sensor nodes selectively send data to multiple storage nodes to achieve higher availability. Our experimental results show that our scheme can achieve better data privacy and a higher level of data availability at smaller energy cost than other baseline data dissemination schemes.