Mobile numbers list sparks privacy fears
The announcement of the first directory enquiries service for mobile phones today provoked fears for the privacy of those on its database.
The directory bills itself as the UK's first service which can connect individuals to millions of mobile numbers.
Connectivity, the company behind the service, said the 15 million numbers "generally" came from companies which collect them from customers in the course of business and which had permission to share those numbers.
At no time would the mobile numbers be disclosed, Connectivity said, adding that only people verified as being over 18 are included in its directory.
But Simon Davies, of Privacy International, said many people on the directory would have unwittingly agreed to have their number circulated by, for example, failing to tick a box on a market research form.
"There are fundamental privacy issues," he told The Times.
"People tend to enjoy selective disclosure (of their number) with mobile phones."
Connectivity CEO Raj Raithatha argued the service was "privacy-friendly" because it did not disclose numbers.
He said: "If you try to connect to someone, it's up to the individual to get that information exchanged, we won't disclose numbers without express permission."
The inclusion on the database of any children using a phone which appeared to belong to an adult would amount to a "very insignificant" number, he added.
Users will be able to access the service by phone or online, prompting a search of a database of UK mobile phone numbers.
If the search is successful the operator will call the recipient, who can accept or decline the call. If the call is not answered, the service user can leave a voicemail or send a text message with their contact details.
There will be no charge for an unsuccessful search online, while charges for accessing the service by phone are "comparable" with existing directory enquiries services.
People can make their mobile ex-directory by texting the letter 'E' from that phone, although standard network charges will apply.
The service goes live next week and can be accessed by phoning 118 800 or online at 118800.co.uk
Life & Style blogs
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Watch teenager Collin Burns break the Rubik's Cube world record by solving puzzle in just 5.25 seconds
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
‘My children can’t sleep, crying for daddy:’ How spouse immigration rules affect British families
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£75000 - £85000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the largest and fastes...