Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Cellular Phone Directory is Here

Some of us had hoped it wouldn't happen, and the carriers said they were being careful not to release their records to the directory services. But at least one directory company is offering subscriber information for cellular phone numbers. You thought your cell number was private? Ha!

Intelius claims over 90 Million cell phone numbers in their directory, and not one of them was supplied by the carriers. How did they get your number? Intelius scans online public records and logs every number registered at those sites and the name associated with it. Let's say you gave the county your cell number so they wouldn't bother you at your home number at tax time. Unfortunately, that number is then part of the public record and can be harvested by a company like Intelius. And if they can do it, someone else can, too.

Intelius will sell you the name or number information for as little as $5, but the normal price is $15. If this catches on, competition could drop the price to as little as a buck or two. There is a flip side to all this, and that is if you're the one trying to find somebody's private cell number, it can be done. So, the next time you see Brittany Spears behaving badly, look her up, give her cell a ring, and advise her she's gonna catch cold if she doesn't dress a little better.

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