Years ago when I was shopping with a friend in Illinois, a marketing surveyor approached us and asked us to answer some questions. My friend proceeded to give what I knew to be totally false answers to all the questions. Shocked as we walked away, I asked him why he had done that. He replied that he seized every opportunity to mess up surveys to protect what little privacy we Americans have left.

I never did this myself, however, until I encountered a company's offensive practice of requiring that I give it my address and phone number every time I buy anything in one of its stores. After many arguments, it finally occurred to me that the easy solution is simply to make up an address and phone number on the spot, which I now do regularly.

I thought of all this when I read Michael Berlin's op-ed column {"Who Needs Those Polls?" Nov. 27}.

Mr. Berlin is right. Lie, get creative, give outrageous information. Pollute the polls, confuse the computers, distort the records of demographers. It's time we all made a concerted effort to thwart the Great Marketers in the Sky.

There is something wonderfully American about quietly declaring ourselves off limits to this collecting of information about us and our habits and opinions. We citizens do not have to cooperate meekly in our own exploitation.

MAYA PORTER Silver Spring