Technology but used for evil? In a potential step towards a bleak Big Brother future, this week sees the launch of the UK's first mobile phone directory.
Starting on Tuesday June 16, any Briton willing to pay a pound will be given the number of, and connected to, one of the 16 million phone users in the database. But while that figure represents just 40 percent of the handsets currently being used in the UK, the directory's launch has created concerns on how the numbers were collected and more importantly, the invasion of mobile users' privacy.
When the plan was first publicized, Connectivity, the company that created the directory, proudly announced that each and every potential subscriber would be contacted for their approval-that didn't happen, and many critics are now claiming the entire directory was collected from market research data.
To add insult to injury, those who are currently in the directory must pay an opt-out fee and will have to wait around a month to be removed. As a mobile phone magazine, we respect the confidentiality of a user's phone number and feel that trading it for profit is an obvious invasion of privacy. If you are part of the directory and want to opt out, head to 118800.uk or text the letter "E" to 118800.