What’s Next, A Cell Phone Directory?

By US Daily Review Staff.

CellPhoneNumber.com, a website where cellular customers ask questions and receive answers about their wireless phones, is announcing it has now received more than 8,000 responses to its poll asking “Should there be a cell phone directory?” Votes were limited to one per person. Of those responses, an overwhelming majority, 91%, are in favor of a directory.

Attempts at such a directory have been made, but after coming under heavy criticism by privacy advocates, each such attempt has ceased.

  • In 2004, US wireless carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and others announced their intent to create a cellular directory. In 2005, the companies decided to pull back from this endeavor.
  • In 2007, Intelius, an information commerce company, launched their own for-profit cell phone directory. Months after its launch the company closed the directory stating it was “listening to its customers.”
  • Most recently, in 2010, Phonebooks.com, an Internet telephone directory and the company responsible for the CellPhoneNumber.com website, launched its own nationwide cellular directory. Phonebooks.com, in a joint effort with Verizon Wireless, suspended offering information on cell phone numbers last July. Following this suspension, the company launched the CellPhoneNumber.com website and this poll to gauge consumer interest in a cellular directory.

Last year the Washington Post cited a study that showed there are now more wireless devices being used in the United States than people: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/number-of-cell-phones-exceeds-us-population-ctia-trade-group/2011/10/11/gIQARNcEcL_blog.html. “With the growing number of households using cell phones only, a cellular directory seems inevitable,” said Aaron Rosenthal, president of Phonebooks.com.

For an example of how deeply cell phones have penetrated our society, including the scientific community, in September 2009, The American Public Health Association published a report in The Nation’s Health titled “Cell phone popularity a barrier for public health data collection: More Americans forgoing phone landlines.” This article discusses how scientific studies, and even genetic research, which have depended on telephone data collection, will have their samples limited unless consumers become better educated and decide to opt into directories that accumulate cell phone numbers.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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