Recently I've read how a few players have gotten in trouble because they gave away or took personal information, such as "where do you live" type of info.
Now, I understand perfectly why KI is so cautious with this, you want to do everything in your hands to protect the customers (especially the children) of any bad person that may be on the prowl. That is Commendable and deserves a big hands up. :)
Nevertheless, I think context is everything, not everyone who asks "Where are you from?" is looking to do harm, that is a perfectly normal question, and a good conversation starter.
However, now I'm not sure if I should ask that question anymore. What if I ask that, somebody gets scared and reports me? I know that you have your own teachers who verify what happened, but just to be on the safe side, should I never ask that again?
While all input is appreciated I would love the answer of a professor or Zeke, or Mr. Lincoln :)
This is just my opinion on this: I would suggest you just use common sense and avoid using that question as a "conversation starter". There are dozens of game related questions you can use to start up conversations.
It is fine to ask vague questions about someone like East coast or West coast. What you want to avoid is more specific information that can be used to find or contact someone. There is no reason why you even need to know their city or anything more specific than that so don't ask.
Just being reported is not really a problem unless you have actually broken the rules. So I would expect if there is no pattern of bad behavior or you have not truly asked any personal questions then you have nothing to worry about.
I'm pretty sure KI wants all the conversations (menu, text, open) to be related to Wizard101 functions. This is not Facebook, MySpace, or some other social/dating application. Conversation starters should probably be centered on battle strategy, like who is going to take which opponent. While Wizard101 encourages real life friends to play together, it has never encouraged or made readily avaliable functions to have in-game friends become real life friends.
I'm not saying you can't make real life friends from Wizard101, but you probably shouldn't attempt during in-game chat logs. There are other websites available to do that.