How did Intelius compile its directory of people’s private cellphone numbers it now has for sale online? Laws on the books forbid telelphone companies from amassing cell phone directories without customer’s consent, but the laws don’t mention third parties. Instead, Intelius buys them from your friendly, local pizza delivery place. Here’s what the CEO said when asked how people end up in their system: “Geez, [there are] tons of ways — everything from going out to a Web site and buying a ring tone for your phone to putting your phone number down at anything [like] ordering a pizza…There are literally dozens and dozens of ways that a user or a consumer could opt in to a database.” See, it’s legal for businesses to contact you you have business relationship. But companies are turning around and selling these customer databases to places like Intelius, and transferring the right to use the database to these third parties as well. While you’re taking a bite out of that deep-dish, they’re taking a bite out of your privacy.
How Intelius Bought Your Cellphone Number From The Pizza Guy
By January 30, 2008