This is a funny but true story. Funny as long as your information has not been misused or compromised.
I deal with a vendor for our show tchotchkes every year. Recently, I ordered a new design of tchotchkes and when it came to payment time, the vendor said she had all my information. I was quite impressed since I would not have to repeat my contact information, phone numbers, address and so on. I assumed that she was sending me an invoice.
Just when I was about to put the phone down, she asked me if the credit numbers can be verified. Verification of credit card numbers? I remembered using a card last year. I also thought that I had changed the numbers. She repeated the numbers and they were indeed correct. I have never met this person and now needed to convince her that she would be legally liable if the numbers were ever misused. To begin with, I told her that she was not supposed to write or store numbers anywhere. It was not a good practice to hold mine or any of her other customers’ credit card information. I explained to her in as simple terms as possible the implications of a misused card. I think she understood and said would immediately delete any information. However, I was not completely convinced, so ended up getting a new card immediately. This was one instance I accidentally came to know about. I am not sure how many more vendors have such information written or stored on a central database.