Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Information Provider Abandons Cell Phone Directory

The company busily compiling a directory of cell phone numbers without subscriber consent has abandoned its service, citing customer concerns.  Intelius, the company involved, said it had determined that "in this instance we may have been ahead of our time." But its opt-out procedure is cumbersome, and requires that one send copies of documents to the company. Nice to know; I visited the company's website, and couldn't find the opt-out directions.  Responded the company, “As good custodians of information, we have an obligation to ensure people are opting out (sic) their own information, thus the request for a copy of a form of ID,” she said. Well, possibly, but it could also secure customer consent beforehand, thus ensuring that people are opting into disclosing their own information beforehand. Note that Intelius continues to offer other services, such as access to unlisted land-line phone numbers, for $14.95. It seems to me that  folks with unlisted phone numbers already seem to have "opted out" of disclosing that information, at least with regard to third parties. Read more here and here.

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