There is a 40% chance your mobile number matched with your name are available on a directory enquiry service from last month. Opt out here.

Found 9th Jul 2009

The company has 15 000 000 people's details - out of the 40 000 000 UK mobiles. So there is a 37.5% chance your details can be up for sale.....

A company will begin offering a directory service from next week that allows people to find the mobile phone numbers of people they don't know.

Run by 118800, it will cost £1 and use databases of numbers it said are freely available for purchase and in the public domain.

Anyone searching for a number can type the name and location of the person into the 118800 website.

It claims to have some 15m numbers in its database.

Privacy campaigners have been angered by the system despite it getting the all-clear from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

The ICO ruled that the system did comply with current law and was little different from companies who use such contact lists for cold calling.

It said that opting out of the service should be made easy for those not wanting their details to be used in the directory.

118800 gets numbers from three sources. First, market research companies who contact individuals and ask if they would be prepared to allow their numbers to be used for commercial purposes.

Second, from online businesses who often ask customers to tick boxes during the normal course of online transactions.

Thirdly, 118800 gets them from brokers who buy and sell lists of phone numbers.

118800 said that has about 15m phone numbers on its databases which is just a fraction of the 40m adults who have one or more handsets in the UK.

Some legal observers are concerned by the precedent the system sets.

"You are supposed to have people's consent if you are going to pass their number around and they need to know where it is going to go," says Chris Watson, a lawyer at CMS Cameron McKenna.

"When people tick a box, saying they have no objection to their number going to the company they are dealing with, they don't anticipate that it could then be sold.

"Not just possibly to trading partners, but to anybody under the sun".

Connectivity - the company operating the 118800 service - said that privacy is paramount to them, and that it's easy to withdraw your mobile phone number from their databases should you choose to do so.

To unsubscribe, you can either click on the ex directory button on the their web homepage, or you can text the letter 'E' to 118800 from the mobile phone you want to be made ex-directory. 118800 will send you an SMS message confirming you've been taken off.

118800 website

"We are accessing data in the same way that lots of other companies do for marketing purposes", Shona Forster, 118800's Marketing Director, told Working Lunch.

"The difference is that we don't use that data for marketing purposes and we don't sell it on to anybody else".

How it works

If the company has it, contact details will be sent in a text message to them.

On the phone version, you call the number, and again they will check whether they have the person's details on their database.

You are supposed to have people's consent if you are going to pass their number around and they need to know where it is going to go.
Chris Watson, Lawyer

If they do, they will call them up while you are still on the line and ask them whether they are prepared to have your call put through to them.

In neither case is the mobile phone number given over to the person making the request.

Both services cost £1.

For most of the 20th century, the landline was the only phone around. With the mobile you're always available, so it's the number most of us dial first.

So it is perhaps not surprising that a directory service is starting up that allows people to find out someone else's mobile phone number in the same way we've always been able to do for landlines.



Well done :thumbsup:

We have no children in our directory

a very bold statement indded how do they absolutly know they dont have any numbers that belong to children??? And im not GIVING them my fone number as im pretty sure ill be in the 60% they dont have!! all the people who need my number have it!!

and if they do have my number and ring they will get a comprehensive list of expleatives! :thumbsup:


thanks :thumbsup: don't need cold calls on my mobile as well as my landline :roll:

When this was posted up the other day, I looked at the website for the company that's going to be running this and they don't give out your number, apparantly.

What actually happens is this(copied from the post I did the other day)

"Going to the website and reading through how it works, they don't actually give your number out. Someone calls them up, says 'I want to get the number for Bob blah in Lala land', and if they have a match, they send a text to Bob Blah with the contact details of the person trying to get hold of them, and it's then up to Bob Blah if he wants to call them or not."

So this company dont send your details to the person asking for them, it's the other way round, they send you the details of who's trying to get hold of you and its then up to you whether to get in touch with them or not. As they're doing it like that, they're not breaking any laws cause they're not giving any info out.

according to my local mp .. all uk mobiles will be on the directory !

Don't opt out.

It's a waste of time.

If 118800 bought your data, then it is freely available on the data market.

Telemarketers will buy your details for pennys.

Do you really think they're going to pay £1 per person for a number?

They'll buy in bulk for cheap.

Only opt out if you don't want individuals from being able to contact somebody who will ring you to ask you if they are allowed to pass you through.

The company won't give out your number, only transfer you.

Media hype, and I'm disappointed that MPs are jumping on the bandwagon without knowing the facts.

opt out website is unavailable

Still not up

The 118 800 service for mobile phone connections is currently unavailable - from this website and by phone - whilst we undertake major developments to our 'Beta Service' to improve the experience for our customers. We'll be back as soon as possible with the new improved service.

All ex-directory requests made by people in our directory to date are being processed. There will be no need to resend these requests. And we will take further ex-directory requests when the service resumes. We will not be taking ex-directory requests by phone or text whilst the service is not operational.

Please do not call us on 118 800 for anything other than landline directory enquiry requests as you will be charged for the call.

For other enquiries email us at or write to us at 118 800, PO Box 2747, Reading RG30 4ZQ

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
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