Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why do they need this?

When filling out forms for anything from joining a web site to registering software to opening a credit card to taking an "anonymous" survey we are asked many questions. When were you born, how old are you, what is your sex, are you married, do you own or rent, what is your sign, what is your highest level of education, how many kids, what is your race, your religion, your nationality, your drivers license, etc. I got to wonder why do I need to give this information out, I know several people who lie on the demographic information. I've been ignoring all information that is not required. But the question is why is this being collected?

Businesses need to ask them selves what type of information do we collect and why? How long to we keep it? How is the information used and what would happen if it were stolen? The last litmus test I would add to this would be do I want this information collected, and probably sold.

I'm not sure what information, if any, beyond name, address, phone number, advertising method and sales volume and computer stats I want to keep about my customers. I also think I'm going to maintain an active list, a hold list, and finally a purge list. The only other information I'm going to maintain is a list of customers who do not wish to have email or mail sent to them.

-- Tim Krabec

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