In a significant win for mobile consumer’s privacy, Verizon wireless has worked with Phonebooks.com to remove cell phone numbers from the internet phone directory company’s service. Phonebooks.com has been the only to offer free cell phone number information.
Verizon has a history of actively opposing publication of mobile phone numbers, and this collaboration with Phonebooks.com to take a joint stance supporting consumer privacy is fantastic news for users.
From the joint press release:
“Even if a consumer’s mobile number is obtained lawfully by Phonebooks.com, we believe that Verizon Wireless customers should have the opportunity to provide informed consent before it is published,” said Steve Zipperstein, vice president of external affairs for Verizon Wireless. “We are pleased that the leadership team at Phonebooks.com agrees that the safety and privacy of all consumers is a high priority.”
“Our wireless phone database was provided at no charge, to benefit the public and assist people in finding the information they were looking for,” said Aaron Rosenthal, president of Phonebooks.com. “While anyone, at any time, was free to remove themselves from this directory, we understand that some people may have specific privacy concerns in regard to their cell phone number. The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive. However, the concerned minority cannot be overlooked.”
To help raise awareness regarding this and the ways cell phone numbers are collected, Phonebooks.com has launched a ‘Question & Answer’ website, CellPhoneNumber.com. The site allows visitors to ask a cell phone related question; it also maintains an ongoing poll to help gauge the public’s interest in the existence of a cellular directory.
Step up and vote NO.
That last sentence in the press release should give you cause for concern – as should the current voting tally. If 90% of respondents continue to want a cell phone number directory Phonebooks.com may change their position.
Your job is to make sure your voice is heard. If you want to protect your privacy take 4 seconds RIGHT NOW to vote. http://www.cellphonenumber.com/. Then take 4 more seconds to virally ask all your friends/tweeps/associates/family, etc. to do the same.