Intelius Says They'll Stop Selling Your Cellphone Number

“In response to consumer feedback,” Inteliius says it will discontinue selling your private cellphone number in its searchable online database. Liz Murray, Communications Manager at Intelius in a press release that, besides trying to explain away their actions, also spent half of its time touting the company’s Cell Phone Caller ID program, said, “As a company, we have strived to be at the forefront of innovation…We realize that in this instance we may have been ahead of our time.” That’s right, it was a notion from some future time where mankind has evolved into a more advanced being that doesn’t care about its privacy. Despite the press release, as of this writing, the company is still advertising the cell phone directory on its site.

Intelius Listens to Customers; Pulls the Plug on Cell Phone Directory Service [Press Release]
How Intelius Bought Your Cellphone Number From The Pizza Guy
Intelius Sells Your Unlisted And Unpublished Cellphone Number Online


Edit Your Comment

  1. ohnoes says:

    20 years from now – “Give me your cell number if you want to live.”

    Or should that be happening now somewhere…future’s confusing.

  2. bohemian says:

    I don’t think so. In twenty years if you think I am going to be ok with me having people selling my cell phone number I will go hit them with my walker.

  3. SVreader says:

    MSNBC quotes Ben: []

    That “ahead of our time” line is so obnoxious. Selling stolen stuff: an idea whose time has not come!

  4. QuiteSpunky says:

    I’m looking for Sarah Connor’s cell phone number.

  5. Imaginary_Friend says:

    “In response to threats of an FCC inquiry into the legality of its business practices,” Intelius says it will discontinue selling your private cellphone number in its searchable online database. Liz Murray, Communications Manager at Intelius in a press release said that, “As a company, we have strived to be at the forefront of exploiting loopholes in US privacy laws for financial gain…We realize that in this instance we may have failed to adequately cover our collective ass.”

    She then sped off in her DeLorean, narrowly escaping capture by an armed mob of anti-tax militants and adulterous Senate committee members.

  6. chutch says:

    By “ahead of our time,” they just mean soon enough Best Buy or other such companies will just try it eventually.

  7. bluewyvern says:

    It’s not the directory they’re advertising on the site now, it’s the “reverse search” mentioned in the press release, the caller ID, where you enter a number and get a name rather than the other way around.

    It looks like the directory service has actually been stopped.

    Well, that’s something of a relief. Still using stolen data, though, even if it can’t be abused quite as badly any more.

  8. DragonflyLotus says:

    So the same company that sells identity theft monitoring and has a mission “to empower consumers with information services for personal and family safety” will sell my complete address history, date of birth, and name of 10 family members to any stalker with internet access.

    “Forefront of innovation” = we’ve figured out a new way to make money off the perpetrators and the victims.

  9. lovelygirl says:

    @Bohemian– ITA! There should never be a time for people’s personal information to be up for grabs. Things just get creepier by the day with all the “modern” technology we have.

  10. ludwigk says:

    No, they are way, way, WAY BEHIND the TIMES. You see, years ago, we set up this nation registry Do Not Call List. Among other things, it meant that we really didn’t want to get unsolicited calls, and just wanted people to leave us the hell alone. Intelius may not have gotten the memo on this one.

  11. KJones says:

    Maybe we should all switch to PDAs and email.

    PDAs don’t ring, spam can be blocked, and emails don’t take long to enter.

    I’d be willing to stop using cell phones if everything came as text messages.

  12. evslin says:

    @KJones: Not me, e-mailing 911 for help doesn’t sound like much fun. ;)

  13. mike says:

    As an FYI, you can hit *67 [Phone Number] to block your caller ID from going out. Some companies will even do it for you permanently for free. It shows up as “Restricted” on my cell phone and will show up as “Anonymous” of landline caller ID systems.

    To add, some people can opt to block calls that block caller ID so use with discretion.

    In the future, I’ll give the pizza guys a fake number.

  14. FMulder says:

    Surely, this communications manager Liz Murray, and other executives don’t have THEIR information in this database, and likely not those of their nearest and dearest.

  15. FMulder says:

    If they do, let’s group up and pay for the full information and then show them the annoying and frightening thing it is to have strangers have such personal information about you.

  16. ldavis480 says:

    This is a repeat of a post I made yesterday, but since we’re talking about Intelius it’s germane to the discussion:

    Go to, type the first and last name of a person that doesn’t exist (I searched for the name “Poopypants Nosuchpersonever”).

    It comes up with a link to saying:
    “Poopypants Nosuchpersonever Unlisted Phone Number & Address Found. – Information was found in Public Records, including Age, Address History and Family Members.”

    False or simply misleading advertising?