Privacy 10 years ago vs. Today

Ten years ago: Caller ID? Hell no! I'm gonna get it blocked! This is a total invasion of privacy!

Today: I refuse to order pizza delivery from that place until they get a caller-id system so I don't have to repeat my address to them every time I call in an order.

The sad part is that we now go to the "not as good food, but they use my caller-id bits" place instead of the "great food, takes forever to place my order because they don't take advantage of caller-id" place.

I think the morale of this story is that people will gladly give up a reasonable amount of privacy if they get some value for it. Plus, in this case they are only getting the information that I would want them to have anyway. I am going to tell them my address (so they can deliver the food) and giving them my phone number is a reasonable thing in case they need to reach me to ask a question. Plus, all of this is in the phone book. If I wanted to keep it all secret I could pick up the food myself.

Banks are in a different situation. They seem to want to collect tons of information, not all of it obviously needed. When ordering a credit report from Equifax they ask for all your previous addresses, which they then use to supplement the information that they have about you. (All they really need is my SSN and full name, plus the address I want the report delivered.)

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Well, then, three cheers for Experian. I called yesterday to order reports for my wife and I, and the phone system asked for the following:

1. SSN
2. DoB
3. Zip code
4. Number portion of our street address

From that, they had no problem getting a report to me.

TransUnion's in September; I won't get to Equifax until January (not sure if you were the one that mentioned that you could get your credit reports spaced out over the year, so that you had a better chance of catching anything fishy).

Next up is calling the OptOut line (1-888-5OPTOUT).

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