Cell Phone Privacy Invasion


So you're hungry one night and decide it's time for some hot, fresh, cheesy pizza. So you call up the local pizza place. Would you be surprised to find out that in doing so you'd also opted your way into a cell phone directory? Well if the MSNBC article is any indication, a company called Intelius is doing just that. Apparently, their feeling is that if you've ever given your cell number to a government agency, business, or other similar entity, you've opted in to be stored in their database of phone numbers. So far they claim to have just over half of the numbers in the US alone. A rather disturbing situation if you ask me.

"But isn't that illegal?!" you might be asking... and you'd be right if it were the phone company assembling the list. But the current laws make it easy for a 3rd party like Intelius to compile numbers. They've trolled the internet, used data mining, and bought other smaller lists of numbers. All of which is still perfectly legal. Even though it's a slimy, scumbag thing to do. There is some glimmer of hope though. Verizon is standing up for their consumers and is doing all they can to help protect the privacy of their customers. Now if we could just get some legislation passed to close the loophole we'd be golden.

With any luck, all of the negative press something like this will generate is going to screw up the company's IPO. I for one am hoping that they'll get sued, drive the share prices down, and cause the company to go bankrupt. Further, I hope any investors who are drooling with delight over the possibility of owning stock in such a company also get burned and lose everything. Investing in a scam operation where the victims are forced to pay $14.95 to find out if they're even on the list is pretty low. Making people fax in their driver's license, and other identifying information, to get taken off the list makes this outfit look more like an identity theft ring than any kind of legitimate business.

Also, if you think the do-not-call list setup by the feds will protect you, guess again. It's unlikely that a company willing to subvert privacy rights in such a way is going to care weather or not you put yourself on the list. It wouldn't surprise me to find out they got the idea from whatever idiots are violating the list to make calls to our home numbers as well.

So spread the word - down with Intelius. Down with the directory.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Feb 4, 2008 11:20 am by Samson in: | 1 comment(s) [Closed]
Well, I suppose that a class action suit against them could be brought by everyone on any of their lists...

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