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This is a serious question. After hearing their promos for the Suck Less program, which appears to be listener demographics, I decided, what the heck, I’ll fill out the survey just for fun. So far, standard stuff – where do you live, what do you do for work, how much money do you make, all things you’d want to do to target marketing to someone. Then we get to the odd questions:

  • Are you of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin?
  • Please indicate your racial/ethnic background (select one or more)
  • How many children do you have: [insert number]
  • Please enter the following information for each of your children:
  • Child #1 Year of birth: [input] This child lives with me [ ]
  • How many children live with you other than the above:
  • Child #1 Year of birth: [input]

A couple of things. Why not put Hispanic/Latino in the racial background instead of splitting it out? Probably just survey design.

But this is the big one: Why do you need to know the date of a survey respondents’ childrens birth, and why do you need to know whether they live with you or not?

If I were a parent, that’s not information I’d willingly divulge to even casual acquaintances, mainly for security reasons. God knows the headlines are full of stories about kids being abducted. Certainly, it’s not information that a security-minded parent would want to divulge on a faceless survey (privacy policy be damned), especially after being asked where you live.

Even stranger, if I had kids living with me who were not mine, as a responsible custodian, why would I reveal both their presence AND their age?

What -is- Podshow doing with this information, and who gets access to it?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Updated: Download a printout of the survey here.