118800 to give out mobile details to anyone

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hoaxcall.jpg118800 will, from next week, begin to sell people’s mobile phone contact details to anybody who requests them.

Annoying telesales companies, charities, your ex-girlfriend who stalked you for three years or even the local ASBO kids will all be able to get hold of your details and give you a call, or even a text.

And do you know what? It’s all your fault. That’s right, because you didn’t tick that little box at the end of one of the many applications you’ve filled in, you’ve allowed your details to be passed on and you’ve effectively given up any right you had to any privacy.

For just £1 118800 will pass on your details, providing you’re one of the 15million people listed in their database. It can also be used by private individuals seeking out numbers of people they don’t know. However, the argument there is that if someone doesn’t have your number then maybe there’s a reason for that.

118800 insist that people’s privacy is paramount to them and you can have your number removed from the database upon request. This sounds like a bit of a cop-out to me though. Surely if they were that concerned with people’s privacy they wouldn’t be buying numbers or giving out details in the first place?

Sorry to get all Daily Mail in this post, but this has annoyed me quite a bit. For years mobile users have got away with not being pestered by unwanted phone calls. It seems that now we could be heading down the landline path, where every other phone call seemed to be someone trying to sell you something.

(via BBC)

Update:
Ok guys, I’ve had a night to sleep on this now and I’ve realised I may have been a tad hasty with my fury. 1188800 will not pass on your details per se, but it is still possible that you might be bombarded with calls.

This is because of the phone call version of the service in which 118800 will make a call to a desired contact to ask if they’ll accept the call, similar to how reverse charge calling works currently. You can hear an example of this is action here.

The text based service works by sending a message to the person being requested, giving the seekers details so they can call back if they want to – which could possibly lead to a lot of unwanted texts.

My initial fury at mobile details being passed around companies remains, however. This is definitely not cool.

The good news is you can opt out. Either text the letter ‘E’ to 118800 from your mobile phone or call 0800 138 6263. Standard network charges apply.

Paul Lamkin

6 comments

  • I hate this service. It should be an opt-in service only – it’s holding my details without ever asking my permission. If this carries on then other services like this will spring up and ordinary users will never be able to keep up with where their data is held. And why should they? All services should be OPT-IN only!!!

  • Hi Paul, thanks for writing about us. You’re right – we’ll never give out anyone’s details – when you search on 118800.co.uk, we then send a text a message to the person you’re looking for, giving them your contact details so that they can call you back.

    Also, we’ve added a section to the site where people go to remove themselves from the directory. This is at http://www.118800.co.uk/removeme/remove-me.html.

    We haven’t actually launched the service yet (this happens next Thursday); so we’re keen to get as much feedback on the service as possible, and we are making changes in response to peoples’ requests.

    @DesG – sorry to hear you’ve had problems getting through to us – as I say, this is because we haven’t officially launched yet, but please email me at bill@118800.co.uk and I’ll do my best to address any concerns you have.

    Bill

  • Apologies if the article read that personal details would be disclosed directly, which they won’t. Update to post should clarify.

  • Your facts are way off about this service. 118800 will not infact, sell your details to the nearest bidder. You call up the service, and say request MR Smith in say, Acton london. They will then give you the option to request to MR Smith to be connected to you. MR Smith can decline this easily, and no details or contact is passed on. At no point are any details passed to any party.

  • I do not _ever_ give my permission to any company that has my details to share this information with any other organisation.

    As this company has my personal information there has been a breach of Data Protection.

    I contacted the company to have them remove my data which they hold ilegally and they refuse to cease using this data immediately. They will not confirm that they have complied with my request to remove all my mobile numbers.

    I have no relationship with this company and they do not have my express or implied consent to hold my information. (I assume this is probably true of millions of other citizens and this needs to be investigated.)

    It took over 40 phone calls and 2 hours to get through to talk to someone and then they tell me that they are just sub-contracted to run the service, and they had been briefed that they would be receiving a lot of flak over this.

    If they are that confident that the service is useful and commercially viable, why do they use an opt-in policy, instead of buying dodgy lists.

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