Phone Number and Google

If you type in your area code and phone number in the google search engine, it will tell you the persons name and where they live. Should we be concerned with the privacy?

There’s an opt-out page:

AFAIK, it doesn’t list numbers that aren’t listed in the phone book. If your number is already listed in the phone book and is therefore public, I can’t see how there’s a privacy concern.

This seems to be a General Question rather than a comment on a Staff Report, so I’m moving it to the appropriate forum.

Yup, no ex-directory numbers.

Not my cellphone, anyway, and since I don’t have a landline, looks like I’m sitting pretty.

There are a few sites that offer reverse lookups, including AT&T.

I see the point about privacy concerns, since you want to be listed so people who know your name can call you. But do we want people who have our phone number and nothing else to find out who we are? Then again, not sure how someone gets your phone number without any other info.

IIRC - and I may not be - there are books that list all of the people by last name in one section and by phone number in another section. I’m not sure if these are publicly available books, though.

Telemarketers could, in theory, just type a random number into Google and get a name … but they could do the same with the white pages just by picking a random number.

I think it is neat and also that worrying about privacy is so much ado about nothing. :stuck_out_tongue:

Here’s one site that links you to a variety of lookup engines: name-to-phone-number, number-to-name, yellow pages, zip codes, area codes, etc. There’s even a cell phone lookup service that will trace a cell phone number for you, at $85 a pop.

Originally posted by Dantheman:

Yeah, they’re called City Directories or Crisscross Directories. I haven’t seen one of those in ages. They are, or used to be, publicly available for a hefty price.

That’s what I was thinking of, although I remembered public libraries having them.

I happen to be adopted, and found my birth family a few years back. I can tell you from experience that there are all kinds of ways to look up people without using google, using whatever little scrap of information you have about that person. Google isn’t telling you anything that you can’t already get online from half a dozen sites and offline in printed books. I wouldn’t sweat it.

Most Criss Cross directories are available at local libraries. As mentioned before Google only has published numbers. It is pretty hard to get an UNLISTED number. Not impossible but hard. Remember the phone companies offer TWO services. “UNPUBLISHED” will take you out of the directory but still available from information. UNLISTED will take you out of the directory AND not be given out by information.

A great source to find people is usenet (gooogle groups). You’d be suprised. I had a new manager start at a hotel I worked at and everyone thought he was really stuck up. I told them no he’s really just shy. How did I know. I put his name in a usenet search and it came up under alt.socialphobia. where he told how terribly hard it was for him to talk to anyone. How did I know it was him. I asked him where he graduated from school and I matched the photo of him from the college website to a usenet link.
People forget whatever they put on the web may be there, well forever.

It is possible to have your telephone number listed and your address unlisted. This prevents people who look you up in the crisscross (or google) from turning up on your doorstep. If I put my number, which has an unlisted address in the phone book, into google, it tells my city and state only, not the street address.