The company behind a controversial new directory of private mobile phone numbers threatened O2 with legal action when it refused to provide its customers' personal details, The Register has learned. Start up firm Connectivity, which will launch its 118800 service next week, approached O2 18 months ago for access to its customer …
The first time I receive a call from these clowns..
..they will be told in no uncertain terms to bugger right off and never to call me again. Any subsequent calls will be considered harassment and reported as such.
Anyone opted out yet?
Does anyone know how you opt out of this service? Can I call my operator and ask them to intervene?
Sorry for the question in comments but I think it may be helpful for people to know how to opt out of this without giving their details to the scum who published their number in the first place.
"for the business to be viable..."
"...it would have to use an opt-out consent model."
Guess it just ain't viable then, n'est-ce pas?
Just because your business model depends on being sneaky, immoral and aggressive in your approach - it don't make it ok to be so.
And for once, I have to say "well done" to the mobile networks.
Could always try......
How long before this outfit's calling-number range is "outed" so we can pre-emptively block it?
"So how do you opt out? Well in Connectivity's parlance you can elect to become ex-directory by :
"texting the letter 'E' to 118800 from the mobile phone you want to be made ex-directory or you can call us on 0800 138 6263. Standard network charges apply. The first time 118 800 contacts you, you will be sent an SMS reminding you about how to become ex-directory. Please allow up to 4 weeks for your ex-directory request to take effect."
I have a number of mobile numbers and live in a small villiage <1000, so when I checked and they had more than entry for my name, I rung them asking to be removed. Basicly I was told to tell them all the numbers I have and we will remove the matches. I told them to just remove my name. I don't know wheather they actaully did it though. I suspect not!
Let them dare call me
I will tell them to f**k off in no uncertain terms and if they call me again I will report them. Also, I do not agree to calling them to opt out. It should be Opt in and if the ICO do not agree with that they are chumps. My number is personal!
although the website is supposed to make this possible, it's actually very difficult and the page won't even let you do it anymore. If you call them to opt-out with the "help" of an "advisor" it takes 5 minutes to get through the call-handling, then you'll wait for another ten, then get cut off.
TPs might be useful for preventing sales and marketing calls but it won't stop people just randomly ringing you up or finding your number even if you don't want them to call.
4 weeks for opt-out? Why?
Also why should I pay to be opted out?
@The Original Ash 13:02
In other words, you can only opt out (or check to make sure your details aren't on there) by providing your details.
So in order to opt out you have to opt in?
...should anybody have to waste time and money opting out of something they never agreed to in the first place?
To opt out ...
Mosey on over to http://www.118800.co.uk/removeme/remove-me.html and follow the instructions on-screen.
@ Original Ash
Cheers, done already :)
At the time of the original articles about this "service", it was only possible to opt-out by texting them (at your cost) or phoning them from the mobile from which you want to opt-out (at your cost), while allowing you to register the number in the first place simply via their website (free, of course) - Seems the company has picked up on the obvious fallacy of that, as there's now a way to remove your number from the directory via their website, at:
That is, of course, assuming the page isnt really just there so that they can validate for themselves that numbers are real and in use, and re-sell them on as a "higher quality" list of working numbers. Going from the laughable way the "we've found too many people matching you" message discussed in the previous articles on this would suddenly find you after entering random bullshit information and so is clearly just in place to harvest additional details to pad out the database, it wouldnt much suprise me.
Useless Regulators and Out of date data
Last year Phonepayplus identified the major cause behind the 104% rise in complaints about unsolicited chargeable premium rate sms was the use of 'third party' data lists of mobile phone numbers obtained from marketing companies.
These data lists are several years old and many of the numbers on the lists have been recycled.
Connectivity confirmed in a statement "having found alternative reliable sources of data" .
Connectivity and Ofcom and the ICO all want taking outside and giving a good whipping.
According to their site Ofcom have outsourced regulation (http://www.118800.co.uk/faqs.html#people-behind-the-118800-service) of these clowns to PhonepayPlus, they have a complaints page here... http://www.phonepayplus.org.uk/output/Make-a-complaint.aspx
Please allow up to 4 weeks for your ex-directory request to take effect.
delete from directory where number = '07123456789';
Could be done overnight ready for next day at the absolute latest.
"Please allow up to 4 weeks for your ex-directory request to take effect."!?!?
I bet it only takes about 4 minutes for a new entry to be added and propagated through their systems, though.
Give those people my number, if you do, I'll sue your ass!!
New business plan. Look for investors...
I have a brilliant new business plan.
I'm going to announce to the world that I have a database of everyone's number. If they want, they can opt out by sending a text message to a premium rate shortcode (say, 50p per message), or calling an 0870 number (50p per minute, mobile charges may vary).
Do I have a database? Do I feck. But I reckon I'll make enough money by people 'opting out'!
Any VCs want to through some cash my way to spend on a website, call centre, and some bean bags and table football?
@AC who suggested "TPS"
Doesn't help, a lot of people ignore it. Reporting them makes little difference. I have reported British Gas to TPS more than once to no avail.
Now I just scream obscenities down the phone when they call, since being helpful and considerate to the poor call centre droid and explaining the situation doesn't seem to help either.
I like to be anonymous on this
As I have commented elsewhere, presumably a pay-as-you-go phone number (like mine!) that has no name attached to it will not appear in the directory unless it has been given out as a contact to a company or whatever and been passed on from that source. If so, I will want to know the reason why.
Where did they get the data?
Is it possible, with their dodgy grasp of the legal situation and their complete disrespect for ethical behaviour, that their data was sourced from the TPS?
They could try to argue that because they are not supplying sales or marketing calls, then they should be able to use the numbers held by the TPS. Either way, they should declare where they got the numbers, unless there is something they're hiding.
Also, why do you have to phone from the mobile whose number you want removed from their system? Why do you have to pay (SMS or call) to opt out?
So the Telecoms companies said "hey no you are not having our lists" as we respect the privacy of our clients.
Now all we need is for the ISP's to tell Phorm to Phuck right of (in the name of respecting their clients privacy)
O2 and Orange acting positively on behalf of their customers' privacy. I have to say I'm chuffed.
If O2 are being honest about this, I don't think I need to worry as I have never, ever, ever given my mobile number to anyone except personal friends - no businesses, no facebooks, no online sales sites - I give my land-line number and I can ring in to my answer phone from my mobile to check any messages - and then ring on my office phone.
What, me, paranoid?
Who said that?
All the best,
Does the system even work?
Has anyone actually been on the receiving end of one of their contact attempts yet, or are we all too wise to hand over our money and details :-) ?
Paris, because she'll hand over her details for money.
Congratulations where due
Well done O2!
Their phone number
Just opted out, the text message you receive comes from 118800 so if they use the same number for connecting calls, it shouldn't be too hard to block/screen them!
Makes you wonder what the point of having a data protection act is when quite clearly these cowboys should have had their drives confiscated by now. Still might be a good time to revisit one of my favourite videojug clips :)
How to deal with telemarketers with just one word.
as required for landlines?
"...as landline companies are required to give data to home phone directories."
Huh? My land line isn't in the phone directory.
Orange refused to hand over data?
Orange refused to hand over customers' data? Good work!
I never thought I'd compliment Orange's customer service (which is 99% crap --- this is the other 1%).
on my own
From what i've read the way they get their data is from marketing companies etc. Our phone numbers have got there somehow either by missing a tick box or people just breaking the rules.
Am I the only one that's not bothered about this?
They don't give out numbers they only connect directly with our permission - This is fine by me
They ask permision before putting someone through and identify them to you - I'm cool with that, it's like having a secretary.
They charge £1 for the connection - Telemarketing departments can get our data quicker, easyer and cheaper 10 fold from other sources .
I can see this system has it's uses. Getting hold of people you have lost contact with, getting hold of someone when you've lost/broken your mobile.
Why do people think that people that they don't know, would actually be interested in spending £1 getting in contact with them.
Burn the bastards
Anyone got an address for their offices and data center ?
I trust their 'remove me' web page as much as I would the promise of cheaper electricity from a US based telemarketer, the only secure way to protect our privacy would be to make sure they can't operate .......
Apparently (on their system) Birmingham is in Warwickshire, so that's a sizeable chunk of the Midlands in the wrong place...
New Telephony Regulation
Perhaps the entire telephone directory system should become like the voters roll:
A full list, available to legitimate bodies (emergency services, government agencies); and
An edited list that people opt into, that is open for anyone to phone.
Since the list is government controlled, there is NEVER any ambiguity about where the permission came from to appear on the edited list (ha, don't start me don't he government list).
Sadly I suspect the government would argue that these "services" are creating jobs. But are they jobs in the UK ?
I agree with earlier posters, a tirade of abuse is the most satisfying response to unsolicited calls, even though it probably doesn't make any difference in the long term.
Brilliant ... let *them* pay
Of course it should be opt in, same as all these type of get rich quick off of others private details schemes.
I would not be comfortable with having to tell a company my mobile number exists in order to ask if they would please not list it.
I think one needs a free check service that doesn't need to go via the company for them to note what is being looked up; to see whether they have one's number in the first place.
Did the networks provide any help?
I’d like to know if the networks’ refusal to pass on data has been total. It appears that Connectivity have also stated that recycled numbers can’t appear in their directory.  The only way I can see this being true is if all the networks have given Connectivity their list of recycled numbers and the date on which they were reissued. The responses from O2 and Orange suggest that this isn’t the case. It’s one thing to have the right name and number, but an out-of-date address. It’s something else to have the right name and address, but someone else’s number.
The directory might be 99% correct or only 51%. Unless Connectivity come clean about where they got the numbers from, we can only guess. It will be left for individuals to try to work out where things have gone wrong, one £10 subject access request fee at a time.
The Time’s article made me laugh. It reads, “It then decided it was more ‘relevant’ for people to choose to opt in or out when someone first tried to get hold of them.”  What is it with data pimps and that word ‘relevant’? It’s Phorm and their ‘unavoidable notice’, all over again. Maybe we don’t want relevant. Maybe we just want more control.
Makes you think
Well first off all it looks like O2 and Orange have come up trumps, but it wont be long before they launch their own service using their own information, so of course they wont share. They will be sitting back and watching 118 800 go to the wall and thinking thank god we didnt go first. Hopefully they will learn from their mistakes and go opt in only from day one.
Opt in is the only way forward. Companies like mobile118 who got it right from day one are thinking told you so!
When you register with orange, whiich you don't have to by the way, you're asked if you want to be included in their own directory service and if you want to be included for any marketing etc.
If you say no they flag it on the system. You can ring up to check if you're not sure if you're opted in or out.
Having always opted out on my own numbers with both payg and contract I still got contacted occasionally from firm asking if I want to upgrade.
Having worked for Orange for a number of years I always asked where they got my number from.
If they said they were connected with orange in some way I was able to tell them they were lying and demand they removed my number from their system.
Any company is legally obliged to do so when asked.
A lot of these companies auto dial/sms a telephone range asking you to get in touch which then confirms the number to them ( like spam email) and then pass on these lists to others.
Orange and O2 are quite right to refuse as directory services, unless the law has changed, collect mobile numbers from directory lists, only business/private home numbers (unless XD of course)
@ on my own
While I can understand your position, and in theory the service being offered is, as you say, safe, it does open up the question of how easy it would be for an unscrupulous company to obtain the same data and then bombard people with phonecalls.
Or to take it one stage further, could this company provide bulk access to certain telemarketing operations that would reduce the £1 cost - yes, for a one-off call would deter most cold callers. But if you could obtain access to 1,000,000 numbers for £10,000, you've suddenly brought the cost per lead into financially viable realms!
is it these guys Chris ?
if so, its interesting that they are listed for the Purpose 4 and NOT Purpose 3 etc
Appointments or removals, pay, discipline, superannuation, work management or other personnel matters in relation to the staff of the data controller.
Data subjects are:
Staff including volunteers, agents, temporary and casual workers
Relatives, guardians and associates of the data subject"
using http://www.ico.gov.uk/ESDWebPages/DoSearch.asp gives only two companies under the "Connectivity" name search
@@ on my own
Its not a case of 'if' but 'when' these sleazebags sell the list onto telemarketers. With an incomplete and inaccurate list and a service so many will reject they don't have a viable business plan, their success rate is going to be vanishingly small and they aren't going to get many suckers to try twice if they charge for failed calls - which will be all of them to my number for starters.
When the headline business goes down the tube their only asset will be a dubious quality list for sale to dubious marketeers. Can you guess why I'm not giving them any clue I even have a mobile...
Get out while you can
Opt in only - give people the choice
Opting out by going Ex directory - now i wonder what ...
Ive checked myself out and they dont appear to have me. Thankyou Orange !
Given their greedy attitiude to personal information - i wonder what happends to the data they accumalate for all those X-directory entrie requests they'll have on their webserver ? Will they sell that ? do i think i can trust their answers? em let me think .... yes/no ... yes/no .... yes/no....
.............................................NO I DONT not a word of it.
I must now bing and learn that Derick and Clive sketch, I need to be word perfect and ready for the 1st unsolicited sales call :)
Bend over Britian...
Once again the ICO is happy to see us bent over for the furtherance of commercial interests. It seems they don't consider this to be "marketing calls", nor do they have a problem with our data being sold on for purposes other than that which is was given.
Looks like we will have to look to Europe to get the "privacy in communications" referred to in the directive. Time the ICO was disbanded and replaced by a proper regulator with teeth and an appetite for the work. Just like the Phorm fiasco, the ICO has failed totally to protect the public from both unauthorised use of our data and unwanted commercial intrusions.
Here's a thought that might be worth pursuing, if data is permitted to be passed onto 3rd party marketing partners, how can this square with the calls being "non marketing" ? Either our data is being used for a permitted marketing purpose or it is an unauthorised use outside of marketing- cant have it both ways can they?
Notice how lax data protection regimes in the UK are attracting the parasites like flies round a T**d?
weres my commercial pre payed fees for the use of MY data ?
Doh! never mind the single section i referenced above, i misread it to only mean section 4 not al 4 sections, ohh, and edit would be a very good thing here too Elreg ;)
"Connectivity confirmed in a statement it had planned legal action to get access to operator data. "Exactly as all the landline directory services were entitled to request telephone number data from BT, 118800 is also legally entitled to request data from telecommunications companies," it said."
would the Connectivity executive please provide to chris and the readers, here and now, their Legal councils name,address and the legal advice given to them, and the exact legislation, section, and clause(s) they were/are going to use to try and obtain this personal and private data ?
how do they (Connectivity) intent getting a UK legally binding written signed permission contract from me and the other owners of their Phone data property for their commercial profit ?,
how do they (Connectivity) intent to enter in to personal commercial nagotiations with me and others to arrange our commercial fees owed for the use of our data property.....payed in cash, at 8.30am, every other thursday at the front door of my main residence as per my basic commercial contracts terms foe the use of my data propertys after a personally CEO signed and noterised contract at my kichen table (or will be when you have payed my advance initial pre payed fees so i can buy a table OC )at a time of my choosing
etc etc ;)
- Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
- Product round-up Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows
- Review What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
- Product round-up Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
- Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...