Public Information Station

Last week I was riding the train into downtown Portland on my way to work and realized something very strange.  People share a lot of personal information on public transportation.  Granted, most people are not going up to perfect strangers on the train and offering up the information.  What happens is that people are calling places like their banks and phone companies but before their bank or phone company will give up any information, you have to provide them with some personal details to verify your identity. 

In the course of a 30 minute ride I learned full names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and even one social security number.  Luckily for my fellow train-goers, I personally have no plans to use said information.  However, I can’t speak for everyone else on the train and you can bet that if I heard it, other people heard it also.

Getting down to the point, we need to be careful what we say and when we say it.  Just because it is public transportation does not mean it’s the place to air your not-so-public information.