Saturday, 11 July 2009

Directory Enquired?

So here is my first Not Powerless post, unfortunately not in the same vein as the majority of posts here but pretty important nonetheless. A new directory enquiries service, run by the start up company Connectivity is to begin service soon, providing people the opportunity to find other people's private and business mobile numbers for a small charge.

The reason this is going here, rather than being relegated to the bottom of the pile is the privacy issue it brings up. When I subscribed to my land line phone BT gave me the chance to make it ex-directory straight away. When I signed my last mobile contract it wasn't an option as no one was expecting to hand over these numbers to a private enterprise. Connectivity have threatened legal action against mobile operators who don't give their databases over, but unlike BT who let you opt-in when you join, this service will treat you as "opt out", making it the customers job to remove their number. My provider, T-Mobile, still haven't reacted to this and only provide the option to add your number to the general directory, rather than remove it completely.

Which means only thing to do to protect our own privacy is to remove it HERE. The site is down at the moment, but will hopefully be up and accepting peoples requests to be removed soon. I consider my mobile number to be private - I give it out where I want but have taken all other means to have it removed from unwanted spam et. cetera. (Such as HERE - the Telephone Preference Service) In an age where "cyber-bullying", spam, and nuisance calls make up a massive part of traffic, surely adding a new way to do so is a questionable idea.