My wife noticed that she started receiving Yahoo ads for wrinkle cream, and said she knew someone else who had a similar issue on Facebook, so removed their age from their profile, but she couldn't find a way to do that on Yahoo.
Being the hubby that I am, and seeing this as a challenge to my prowess for navigating confusing interfaces, I took up the call. Well, it goes deeper than I had presumed. First, I had to find the page that allows one to edit their profile settings. No small feat with the additional obfuscation that Yahoo has placed around profiles. But then, it says that the birthdate is on file, but not viewable for security reasons (!).
To the left, the explanation is that Yahoo uses birthdate info for targeted advertising (well, duh! that's the problem we're trying to rectify). I finally found the page that allows me to opt-out of targeted advertising, but it appears that this is based on zip+4, not age.
Okay, time for the big guns. On to Google search! Most of the hits are links to YahooAnswers, and most have been resolved basically with "Sorry, can't edit birthdate by design for security reasons" or idiotically simplistic answers suggesting generally that you can just supply your password and edit the birthdate (puh-leeeze, noob; don't you think we tried that?).
There was one hit that on yprofiles.com (the is.gd link at the top of this post) that indicates that some of the changes to birthdate policy have changed (on 7/15/2009) to allow birthdates to be hidden and/or changed -- BUT, during the transition period, you'll be asked to supply answers to two secret questions, and afterward, you're ability to edit or hide your birthdate will be disabled for 35 days for your own protection (security reasons).
Okay, now we're getting somewhere... or so I thought. I decided to be a good citizen and post the link to the still open YahooQuestion, but was still logged on as my wife, and didn't want to expose her to the YahooAnswer trolls, so logged off and back on as myself. Strangely, when I logged on as myself, I could no longer find the open question, but only scores of "resolved" questions 2 months to 2 years old, all now obsolete. Back to Google, this time google history, to find the link. Ah, there it is (http://is.gd/1H5tR). Answer supplied, as myself, with link to yprofiles page. Whew!
Now, a couple of philosophical questions. Why, in the name of all that is sane, does Yahoo consistently go for the coercive customer-un-friendly approach? Why be secretive about the birthdate policy change, making users search for it instead of putting it clearly on the edit-profile page? Why disable the ability to hide your birthdate during the lock-out period? Why do Yahoo's own answer pages fail in answering questions about their own services? Inconceivable!
Why does Yahoo still exist, continually mutating and plaguing humanity like a bad case of toenail fungus?
Moore's Law continues it's march toward the singularity, but the other singularity, the black hole of bad corporate decisioning, addictied to eyeball-glue and obfuscating marketing tricks, sucking all that is light and good from the souls of its customers still seems to have the edge.