When you walk into a neighborhood store and deal with a local merchant, you don't particularly worry that he knows your name, sees your address on your checks, has a fair idea of your age, and may know even more about you than that. In fact, if he (or she) is a nice guy (or gal), he may even ask you how your kids (or parents) are, or inquire about your husband's hay fever or your wife's broken ankle, or your dog's surgery. And his interest in you and your family gives you the warm fuzzies.
It's different with an online merchant. "Acme Frammis" is a faceless name. You have no idea who the proprietor is behind the name, and even if you knew, it's not likely that he or she is going to be processing your orders himself. And even if the company has a personified name, such as "Susan Smith Uniforms," there may not be a real Susan behind the company or even a woman at all.
If the website asks you for your name, address, credit card number, dress size, or any other info, you don't really know who's behind the request, or through whose hands that information is passing, or what the company might do with it.
You need to tell them:
* Why you're collect their information?
* What you intend to use it for?
* What you won't do with it?
* Whether you will or will not share it with others
* How to "opt out" if they don't want promotional mailings from you?
* That you may (if this is the case) be required to share this information with some governmental agency (such as if you are dealing in financial products).
* Whether or not you retain their credit card info after the order has been processed
* Whether or not your site uses "cookies"
* What procedures or products you use to protect the customer (such as SSL encryption)?
* How to get in touch with you if they have any questions, want to opt out, or simply wish to communicate.
The information you collect may include:
* Email address
* Credit or debit card information including name and billing address
* Ship-to address
* Phone number
* Clothing sizes or other specs relevant to ordered merchandise
* History of items purchased in the past
Remember: If the website asks you for your name, address, credit card number, dress size, or any other info, you don't really know who's behind the request, or through whose hands that information is passing, or what the company might do with it.