August 11, 2001    





Regarding those routine online forms companies have you fill out for all sorts of reasons, what information is too private to give them?

I fill in all sorts of info. I'm wary of any site that asks for my SS#. For free services I often create info. I have a feeling that there is so much info out there about all sorts of people to the extent it is becomes irrelevante almost.

Felicia, 35
, MA   USA

I'm new to the Internet and becoming more and more concerned about personal privacy. My level for answering intrusive questions varies day by day. I'll provide necessary billing information if I'm buying something, but when something is offered for free, I make case by case decisions about whether to give out my name and address to strangers based on how much I want the freebie.

Jill, 60

My social security number and phone number.

Laura, 36
, MA   USA

Well, I guess it depends on the form. If you are just ordering something from an online catalog, I beleive some things like income and  marital status are not appropriate. However if it is a credit report request or credit card, I believe person info is relivant in order to get accurate info.

Stephanie, 25

Phone number. I never ever fill that out.

Jaden, 21
Brampton, Ontario  CANADA

Anything I don't want them to know, which varies somewhat on my mood.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR   USA

my phone number, and in some cases - like if its one of those shady companies that you just know is gonna sell it - my address.

Karen2, 15
, MA   USA

What forms? Like, shipping forms? I don't think what people ask me is out of line, most of the time.

Karen, 21

My address and phone number.

Ry, 23

I don't like to answer those online forms because I know they are going to sell to companies and give my address and phone number and I will tons of junk mail and telemarketers calling. So I refuse to give address and phone number. I don't even like to give email but I know some sites can trace me anyways. It is just that I hadte the junk email to.

Marci, 56
, OH   USA

I've filled out numerous forms and so far I've never been asked to give information that I deemed too private. Though, if I were ever asked to give out my social security number I would definitely say no way.

Jennifer, 19

I don't usually give away my race because I'm afraid that my being entirely, hopelessly white will screw me over somewhere down the line. (Affirmative Action and all)

Johanna, 18

I would not give them my bank account number or any credit card number (if I had one). I would tell them the general make-up of my family and surface details.  I would tell more details if they are not asking for name or address or anything like that.


What is NOT too private?

Eric, 19
Beverly Hills

Pretty much anything besides your first name and e-mail address. I almost always fake any of the other things. But actually, I didn't for this list, so go figure.

Dianne, 16
Ontario  CANADA

I suppose it's foolish but I always fill out correctly all of those forms. I guess I'm just so used to following instructions that I do it automatically, without thinking. But lately I've been hearing and reading so much about how dangerous it can be to give your social security no. (and that not many people actually need it), that I would probably balk at giving

Reba, 51

I lie about most of the information. I give a false address, telephone number, etc. I even have a Yahoo email address that I set up specifically for these kinds of forms. It is a real email address, so I can respond to verification emails, but I never give that address to anyone for personal email. This really helps cut down on the amount of junk mail I get in my

Sapphire, 31
Ft. Lauderdale

I don't generally have a problem filling those out completely. Sometimes I'll avoid giving my phone number, but I don't have much to hide and don't care much in the way of privacy so I just fill them out. I leave out my mailing address if possible, but if they want it for a legitimate reason I provide it. Sometimes (including here) I list myself as being from Washington DC, and while I do work downtown I actually live about 15 minutes (by car) away in Northern Virginia. We're so close to DC that listing myself in DC affords me a little bit of privacy...though it can sometimes be annoying when people forget about DC in a list of states.

etoile, 20

I don't like questions about annual income, and I generally won't give out my social security number unless I absolutely have to.

Fisch, 45
, CT   USA

I think your adress is to private to give them.

Heather, 15

It depends on the reason I'm filling it out. As a rule, I never give my phone number to anyone I don't want to hear from. Enough of that goes on already, and telephones annoy me. As far as demographic info goes (age, sex, race, etc.) it's a matter of considering the source. I occasionally participate in market research surveys where demographics are important. On the other side of the fence, I refer to statistics during my work day, so I do think they're important in some cases.

K. Lampe, 20

I try and give just the minimal amount the form will accept.

Janet, 42
E. Brunswick

my password comes immediately to mind. . . . .

mothmc, 36
Los Angeles

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