Thursday, March 17, 2011

Too much information -- leads to identity theft

There are too many businesses asking customers for too much information -- and people have no assurances that that information is secure, or necessary.

Here is an example. I stop at RiteAid and pick up a bottle of wine. The clerk asks me for my birthday and I say 1955. She responds that she has to have the entire date of birth and shows me on her screen where she has to type it in.

I tell her, make something up. And she says she can lose her job if she does.

This is a rather silly exchange because I am obviously more than twice the required age of 21. There is not a hair on my head that is not gray.

It is also silly because it is useless information to comply with a law meant to catch underage purchasers of alcohol. Those who look underage are asked to produce a photo ID with a birthdate on it.

For the rest of us, we can make up any date we want as long as it puts us over the 21 age requirement.

I would heartily recommend that you lie and give a false birth date when asked under such circumstances.

This merchant already has your credit card number, your name, your address, and now they want your birth date.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I will keep my birth date to myself until it is really required to establish my identity.

Handing it out to any fool who asks is just inviting the theft of your identity.


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