A while back, I came across a writing community that looked interesting and began to register there.
The first box to be filled in? Date of birth, including day, month and year.
I didn’t like that – I’ll be honest with you. I can understand wanting to know if I’m over 13 or 18, but not a full birthdate.
I wrote to him, asking why he required my birthday. He replied that it was, as I had guessed, to make sure that only those who were over 13 could register. He also indicated I didn’t have to have my birthdate show, but I would have to provide it.
So I wrote back again, saying:
Thank you for answering.
I’ll be passing on your site.
It’s easy enough for you to have a couple of buttons – press one for over 13 years of age, press another for under 13 years of age. As long as you require my full birthdate, I will not register at your site.
This is not about being too shy to show my age, but about security.
If you have someone’s date of birth, it becomes much easier to steal their identity, their credit rating, their privacy, and their peace of mind.
Today, I came across another site that requires a DOB. It looks like it uses the same forum software as the first one, and again, the DOB was the first thing required before it even goes on to ask more information for registration.
At what point will these sites realize that requiring such private and personal data is too much? At what point will those who join such forums realize that this is too much? What will it take before they realize that such information is not necessary in order to run a forum?
Or am I just tilting at windmills?
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