Company Yanks Online Cell Directory

90 million numbers taken offline after consumers freaked out
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2008 5:47 AM CST
Consumers were 'freaked out' by the news that a data company had gathered 90 million of their cellphone numbers from places like pizza delivery companies.   ((c) the_majestic_fool)
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(Newser) – Data company Intelius scoured business records and other sources and managed to compile around half the cellphone numbers in America, MSNBC reports. When it put those 90 million numbers online, available to anybody paying a $15 fee, people were outraged. Consumers were shocked to find their private cellphone numbers were easily accessible, and a wireless phone company threatened to sue.

“Stop it,” said a Verizon Wireless executive. “This is a violation of Americans’ privacy. People expect their cellphone numbers to remain private.” Intelius has now taken the service offline, deciding that the country is "still not ready" for it. Consumer groups, who said people had been "freaked out" by the directory, welcomed the move but said Intelius still had some privacy issues to deal with.