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The Opt-In National Cell Directory: Why it isn’t likely to succeed

If you are looking for a cell phone directory by name, you aren’t going to have much luck finding results. The reason is because of a law which was passed which prevents cellular providers from giving out subscriber information for directory listings. It is also illegal for anyone to compile a cell phone directory by name unless the people listed gave their individual consent.

Most of us think that phone directories are a very useful thing. We are even usually happy when a long-lost friend gets in touch with us after looking up our name in the phone book. Even though the majority of us agree that phone directories are such an essential part of our lives, very few people would knowingly agree to put their cell phone numbers in a public listing. Many people even pay the fee to have their landline numbers kept out of the White Pages!

There isn’t really much reason why cell phones should be kept more private than landlines. After all, if you are worried about a stalker, then having your address listed in the White Pages would be just as much of a concern as having your cell phone number listed in a cellular directory. Yes, there are some additional safety concerns with cell phone directories – such as GPS tracking – but advancements in technology are likely to make new concerns with landline privacy.

What it really comes down to is a matter of mentality. When landline phones were invented in the late 19th century, people didn’t think about privacy issues so much. Discretion was actually impossible with the first landline phones because calls had to be made through a call center. If you knew the call operator (which was inevitable in a small town), then that operator would probably know quickly if you were sick, cheating, or other matters you’d like to be kept private. It wasn’t until recently that people began to worry about privacy issues with landlines and phone companies gave the option of opting out of the White Pages – which must be requested and costs money!

The mentality of cell phones is very different. From the start of cell phone popularity, people were worried about their privacy. First, there is the issue that people can hear what you are saying when you talk in public. Then there are the more advanced issues of account hacking, identity theft, and GPS tracking. Now that cell phones are internet capable, there are even more privacy worries. With so many worries, people don’t want to worry about a cell phone directory which makes it easy to find out their numbers!

Even though there have been cell national cell phone directory listings for many years, they all must legally be opt-in. If you are trying to find a cell number by name, you probably aren’t going to get lucky. Because privacy concerns are increasing, not waning, it is very unlikely that a national cell directory will ever succeed.

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