Here are my thoughts on why I would say “yes” to this question. Here’s why: Salary offers are based on a triangulation of three factors - what you make, what other people make in the same job at the company you are joining, and the pay range of the job. Companies want to
- offer an incentive to make the new job attractive over your current pay
- while not paying you more than people in the job currently AND
- not placing you too high in the pay range (which limits your future pay raises)
Your current salary is the missing piece of this puzzle. They are not asking this so they can take advantage of you. They simply do not want to waste your time or their time if they cannot work with your salary or salary expectations.
One way to burn a bridge with a company is to withhold salary data and then turn down an offer because of the low salary or to negotiate an offer higher than the initial offer and still turn it down.
If you don’t trust a company to handle the salary properly when given your current earnings, then you probably should not work for them anyhow. When you are earning above their range, you can let them know what range would be acceptable to you and stress what you value in the opportunity outside of the compensation.