You Say it’s Your Birthday: Twitter Adding Birthday Info
Advertising on Twitter has historically been hard, but recently things have been getting better. One big problem is the lack of data Twitter requires for signing up for the social network. It only asks for a name and either an email address or phone number to create your account.
Soon, in what TechCruch calls "an obvious data grab," Twitter users will be able to add their birthday to their account. Likewise, advertisers shortly thereafter will be able to more precisely narrow down their field of relevant customers.
Of course, if users don't want to publicly share their birthday, they can hide it using fairly standard privacy options. Under "Learn more about these settings," Twitter notes that "If you choose to add your birthday to your profile, it will be displayed to the audience that you've chosen. It will also be used to customize your Twitter experience. For example, we will use your birthday to show you more relevant content, including ads."
So there you have it. It is indeed "an obvious data grab." What can be done to take precautions against being so blatant? Well, first of all, ask your customers for more information up front. They're less likely to fork it over to you later on. And don't ask for too much, either. Some things should be gotten over time, once you've built a relationship with your customer. Find that balance and your e-commerce program should have all the data it needs to say "Happy Birthday" — and more!