More On Why Privacy Should Be The Rule And Not The “Opted-Out” Exception

This is a follow up to my earlier post regarding cellphone numbers being added to 411 lists, which I still think, as it stands, is a really bad idea.
There’s more at stake here than the (I believe, still valid) concern of actually be charged money by your phone company every time you are contacted by a telemarketer, which would also be horrible and unfair to consumers, but isn’t nearly as worrisome as establishing a practice of charging people extra if they don’t want their personal information sold.
If discounts are offered to people that are willing to allow their number to be included in a directory, that’s one thing. But again, it would need to be properly represented to the consumer that they were trading something valuable — their personal information — for a discount.
That said, it’s not only about telemarketers. It’s about privacy. If I want someone to have my cell phone number, I’ll give it to them. Otherwise, they can email me and request it, and if I want to give it to them, I will.
In general, I would rather be emailed than called on the phone — especially from people I’m not expecting.
The way it is now, I have a little control over who calls me on my already too busy telephone. I should not have to pay money to have my number remain unlisted. It is a right, not a privilege, in my opinion.
This is the wrong direction for these kinds of services to go — making people opt-out of having their information made public. They should always have to explicitly opt-in to such services. This is dangerous if giving up one’s personal information in order to participate in a basic communications service, such as cell phones, becomes the exception, and not the rule.
Hope this clarifies my broader privacy concerns surrounding these types of policies.

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