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How is the Birthday field kept private from other users? When is the display field Age changed? Is it changed just on the first of each month or randomly within an random range of Birthday? Original SO question

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It's always seemed strange to me that the field exists at all. After all, if age, why not race, sex, politcval affilation etc? I have no problem about people knowing my age , and have mentioned it in several of my SO posts, but its presence in the profile is a bit peculiar.

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I would assume it is to calculate how old someone is. – Brad Gilbert Jul 4 '09 at 0:25
@brad i think neil knows that, he just thinks it isn't relevant to this site. – Kip Jul 4 '09 at 1:09
it is relevant when we see a user is 15 years old vs. 40 years old. The 15 year old I am willing to cut more slack on his or her question quality. – Jeff Atwood Jul 4 '09 at 10:48
@Jeff Well,vpeople notoriously lie about their age on the web. But like I said, I just find it a bit peculiar, not something to get worked up about. – nb69307 Jul 4 '09 at 11:41

I can't speak conclusively, but I know that the age in my SO profile rolled over, as expected, on my birthday. I suppose someone could scan the SO profiles daily and record the ages, then identify someone's birthday by when they change, but if someone wants to know that badly, I guess they can know. If you're really concerned about your privacy, don't put in your real birthday (or don't put one in at all).

Also, either intentionally or unintentionally, the user ages provided in the data dump aren't always accurate. I suspect that it's (current year)-(birth year), which leads to an age in the dump (22, in my case) that's 1 more than the user's actual age (I'm actually 21).

Original SO answer

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