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View Full Version : Is Shell LiveWIRE promoting a reverse phone search?


uksbd
14-04-2011, 08:03 PM
I see in the members search facility that Shell LiveWIRE has a facility where you can search for members by telephone number.

I also note these pages are optimised to appear in google so are effectively providing a reverse phone search system.
http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&rlz=1T4GGIC_en-GBGB266GB266&q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.shell-livewire.org%2Fnetwork%2Fsearch_advanced.php+%22ph one+number%22&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

search for any of the phone number in that list and you get the member and link to a full profile.
Is this legal? and do members know about this?

openmind
15-04-2011, 08:52 AM
I wouldn't have said illegal but certainly unethical. Fair play if it's a business land line already in the public domain but a mobile number?

LiveWIRE_Mark
15-04-2011, 09:19 AM
Members should be aware that any details they place in their profile will become public information, it is up to you, as the member, how much information you wish to put in to your social network profile. As mentioned the profile pages are well indexed by Google so are a great way of getting your business information out in to the public domain.

Should you wish to change/delete the information that is in your profile then you can do so by clicking on http://www.shell-livewire.org/network/user_editprofile.php

openmind
15-04-2011, 09:28 AM
Fair enough but at the very least there should be some kind of privacy settings in the profile aka facebook style that prevent certain parts of the profile being indexed...

AlexanderSmith
15-04-2011, 10:21 AM
In fairness I think it would be fairly pointless to have privacy settings here. If you dont want your phone number being available dont put it up. 9 / 10 people will have their phone numbers available here so that people can contact them. If you want it place it, if you dont, just withhold that piece of information.

Thats my thoughts anyways.

uksbd
15-04-2011, 02:28 PM
In fairness I think it would be fairly pointless to have privacy settings here. If you dont want your phone number being available dont put it up. 9 / 10 people will have their phone numbers available here so that people can contact them. If you want it place it, if you dont, just withhold that piece of information.

Thats my thoughts anyways.

My post isn't about letting the phone number being made available or not, it is about the fact that shell LiveWIRE actually provide a reverse phone search facility.
I thought this was illegal in the UK?

uksbd
15-04-2011, 02:40 PM
In fairness I think it would be fairly pointless to have privacy settings here. If you dont want your phone number being available dont put it up. 9 / 10 people will have their phone numbers available here so that people can contact them. If you want it place it, if you dont, just withhold that piece of information.

Thats my thoughts anyways.

My post wasn't really about the fact they display the phone number or not, it was about the fact Shell LiveWIRE provide a reverse phone search facility.

I thought this was illegal in the UK?
Or does the fact it is a members list or a business site mean this isn't the case?

lordlancaster
15-04-2011, 06:07 PM
As Mark says, the only information that appears on your Social Network profile is the information you manually add after registration so if you don't want it visible, don't put it on there.

The whole point of the Social Network is to help people market and promote their business online. So, if you want people to contact you by phone, put it on. If you don't, leave it off. Same goes for your email address.

You can alter your Privacy Settings very easily but I recommend leaving them as they are and then adding the following to your Social Network profile as a bare minimum:

1. Brief description of you or your business
2. A logo or photo
3. Your web address
4. Keywords (to help with internal search)

uksbd
15-04-2011, 06:36 PM
I'm not bothered whether my information shows or not, I'm just interested to know if it is legal or not?

If it is, I am amazed that the likes of Yell are not providing a reverse phone lookup service the same as Shell LiveWIRE are doing.

Do you know whether it is legal or not?

uksbd
15-04-2011, 06:57 PM
I've just tried a search on yell by adding a telephone number in the "I'm looking for" box and it does return results, it could not really be decribed as a reverse search facility, but they obviously have the capability to do so if they wanted to.

gear7.co.uk
15-04-2011, 10:01 PM
There are a number of sites called things like 'who called me?' which provide information as to the owner/user of a phone number - most are targetted at nusiance calls from marketing companies. So it's not without precedent.

Personally, I think there are bigger issues in this world than whether it's technically legal to allow lookup of a phone number which is most likely widely publicised anyway....

Chris

LondonBells
16-04-2011, 07:14 PM
Have to agree with Gear7. If you don't want information to be public - don't put it into your openly available settings. It's not hard to delete a particular piece of information

KoOSK
16-04-2011, 11:09 PM
Its seems very funny that there is a complaint/debate about information users have input into a PUBLIC forum as they are appearing on Google - As many on here have said if you don't want to your details public dont put it on a forum!!!

It is even funnier that people are complaining about their business number being found on Google - Thats a good thing and something many companies pay SEO experts for :)

uksbd
17-04-2011, 01:04 AM
Its seems very funny that there is a complaint/debate about information users have input into a PUBLIC forum as they are appearing on Google - As many on here have said if you don't want to your details public dont put it on a forum!!!

It is even funnier that people are complaining about their business number being found on Google - Thats a good thing and something many companies pay SEO experts for :)

Complaint?
You obviously don't understand the main point of my question.

I was asking whether a reverse phone search feature like Shell LiveWIRE has here is legal or not?

I wasn't asking as a complaint, I was asking because I was planning on providing a reverse phone search facility in my directory but want to know whether it is legal or not before I set it up.

I'm pretty sure it isn't legal, but wondered if the fact that members are made aware of it makes any difference (assuming members are aware of it)

lordlancaster
18-04-2011, 08:57 AM
I was asking because I was planning on providing a reverse phone search facility in my directory but want to know whether it is legal or not before I set it up.


I'm pretty sure it isn't legal


I'm confused. If you don't think it's legal, why are you thinking of doing it on your site?

uksbd
18-04-2011, 01:46 PM
I'm confused. If you don't think it's legal, why are you thinking of doing it on your site?

Because I was thinking of doing it, but then read that it wasn't legal.

In other words I found out it isn't legal (or is, still haven't found out yet) after I was thinking of doing it.

It was whilst looking in to it that I noticed Shell LiveWIRE are already providing a reverse phone search facility, did anyone at Shell LiveWire look in to the legalities before setting it up?

lordlancaster
18-04-2011, 01:51 PM
Arghh! We're not providing a 'reverse phone search facility'!

Members are free to put anything they like on their Social Network profile and Discussion Forum signature (so long as it's not blatant spam).

So, if they choose to include their phone number that's entirely up to them. We're not benefiting by doing this, but they could be by seeing a potential increase in phone enquiries / sales.

Can you not just accept that and move on? ;)

uksbd
18-04-2011, 02:13 PM
Arghh! We're not providing a 'reverse phone search facility'!


What is this then?
http://www.shell-livewire.org/network/search_advanced.php

lordlancaster
18-04-2011, 02:26 PM
So because it's searchable we're doing something wrong/illegal?

As I've said before, the purpose of the Shell LiveWIRE Social Network is simply to provide a useful (and effective) way for people to market and promote their businesses online, for free.

I'd argue that this may be a more effective method than businesses paying to advertise their business on your website (http://www.uksmallbusinessdirectory.co.uk/advertising.html) where they have to pay 50 to have their telephone number listed and 100 to have their website listed...! :)

uksbd
18-04-2011, 02:38 PM
So because it's searchable we're doing something wrong/illegal?

As I've said before, the purpose of the Shell LiveWIRE Social Network is simply to provide a useful (and effective) way for people to market and promote their businesses online, for free.



For about the 5th time.

I'm not moaning, I'm not criticising, I don't care that my details show, I'm just asking if it is legal or not?

Why can't people take the question for what it is, instead of thinking there is some kind of ulteria motive and get all defensive?

"So because it's searchable we're doing something wrong/illegal?"

That is my exact question, did Shell get legal advice when setting it up?

Please note, that is a question, no ulteria motive, no criticism, no being snide, a genuine question, if you don't know that's fine, I shall have to ask elsewhere.

I'm not asking for any other reason that I want to know if it is legal or not.

Spodaz
18-04-2011, 04:16 PM
Right to try and clear this up.

The term reverse phone search in the UK would normally apply to an individual number, it is used by the emergency services for example when you call 999, your number is used to provide details about the location of the caller.

In the UK this information is treated as 'communication data' under RIPA and subject to the same controls as requests for lists of and content of calls.

Now the Shell LiveWIRE Social Network database includes information on businesses who have agreed to have the information they are publishing in their profile made public and searchable on the website. As the information you can search on is limited only to the LiveWIRE database and not the whole phonebook, and as this information is "owned" by Shell LiveWIRE I would personally not see this as a breach.

However, to publish the whole phonebook which you do not own the copyright to, would be an issue. Yell.com allow you to search by phone number anyway, and in theory Google is one big reverse phone search as you can put a business number in and it will bring up the business anyway!

uksbd
18-04-2011, 04:48 PM
Thank you for replying to the actual question rather than looking for something else in it :)

From my understanding the difference between the way Yell are doing and what is happening here is when you search for a number in the Yell search facility it appears to search the general database, where as here, it appears to search via a column in a database containing a telephone number.
ie. a direct search for a member, by a telephone number.

If it is legal I'm amazed that YELL and all other directories don't provide and publicise the service.
Yell have a massive databases of businesses and I would assume the telephone number of every listing is in a separate column in the database.

In theory you should be able to go to Yell, type a telephone number in to a box and it returns the business the number belongs to.

Setting something like this up would be literaly a 10 minute job, so there must be some reason why Yell or other directories don't do it?

KoOSK
18-04-2011, 04:57 PM
This post really isn't going anywhere - All you have done is annoyed everyone so to speak.

Sit back and realise something - Shell Livewire is run by one of the biggest companies in the world - Do you think anything done on this site would breach any laws?

The details entered in any profile (providing they are not required fields) are down to the user whether or not they want there details made public - Anyone that is nieve enough to think that entering details into a website and it not appear on Google is a fool.

Personally I would close this thread down - The Original Poster is arguing not only against experienced business professionals including Web specialists with years of experience - but also the Shell-Livewire team who hold a collosal amount of knowledge and experience in what they do - Disputing this is like trying to wrestle a bear - you will never win!

uksbd
18-04-2011, 05:00 PM
Just to add.
I appreciate I'm only going to get opinions here.

Who should I be asking if I want a definitive correct legal answer?

Would it be a question for the ICO, OFCOM or some other body?

KoOSK
18-04-2011, 05:04 PM
While I am on to this - and a reason why I would guess Yell etc dont do this is because business change phone numbers. So you have ABC Business with the number 012345789 - They then change there number to 987654321 - They are still the same company but if you search for their new number - Yell wont find the listing unless someone has updated the profile/details that yell holds.

Therefore it would massively go against Yell if you search for numbers and it cannot find the company - Yet the company is advertised on their website.

Its a stupid system anyway - if anyone calls you - Google the telephone number and you get the answer - Making a website for it is a weak idea.

uksbd
18-04-2011, 05:07 PM
This post really isn't going anywhere - All you have done is annoyed everyone so to speak.

Sit back and realise something - Shell Livewire is run by one of the biggest companies in the world - Do you think anything done on this site would breach any laws?

The details entered in any profile (providing they are not required fields) are down to the user whether or not they want there details made public - Anyone that is nieve enough to think that entering details into a website and it not appear on Google is a fool.

Personally I would close this thread down - The Original Poster is arguing not only against experienced business professionals including Web specialists with years of experience - but also the Shell-Livewire team who hold a collosal amount of knowledge and experience in what they do - Disputing this is like trying to wrestle a bear - you will never win!

I'm not arguing with any one I'm trying to have a discussion
The problem is people appear to be reading things in to my question that aren't there.
Hopefully Spodaz has now seen why I asked the question and the discussion can continue.

The discussion (at least the one I'm trying to have) isn't about what information is and isn't displayed, or what rights people have in it displaying, It is about the search facility that returns the results.
This may sound like splitting hairs to you, but it is very important