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Cellphones Communications Privacy

Your Phone Number Is Going To Get a Reputation Score 136

Posted by timothy
from the how's-my-driving-call-1-800 dept.
Jah-Wren Ryel writes "Yes, there's yet another company out there with an inscrutable system making decisions about you that will affect the kinds of services you're offered. Based out of L.A.'s 'Silicon Beach,' Telesign helps companies verify that a mobile number belongs to a user (sending those oh-so-familiar 'verify that you received this code' texts) and takes care of the mobile part of two-factor authenticating or password changes. Among their over 300 clients are nine of the ten largest websites. Now Telesign wants to leverage the data — and billions of phone numbers — it deals with daily to provide a new service: a PhoneID Score, a reputation-based score for every number in the world that looks at the metadata Telesign has on those numbers to weed out the burner phones from the high-quality ones."
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Your Phone Number Is Going To Get a Reputation Score

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  • Both ways? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @09:35AM (#45447903)

    Will it work the other way too? To weed out the tele-sales numbers from the people who's calls you do want to receive?

    • by Threni (635302)

      Follow the money. Is there any money for the tele-sales companies, or phone the companies, to prevent phone calls from taking place?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Maybe the phone the companies could monetize the this if they try the tried enough hard.
      • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @12:11PM (#45448567)

        Follow the money. Is there any money for the tele-sales companies, or phone the companies, to prevent phone calls from taking place?

        Yes. It costs money to make the calls, and it is especially expensive to deal with jerks like me that always press one to get a live operator, pretend to be very interested in the product, agree to place an order, and then give them a sequence of made up credit card numbers until they finally hang up. I make a game out of keeping them on the line as long as possible. My record is 43 minutes. If they filtered out my number it would save them a lot of money.

        Yes, I am already on the national-do-not-call-list, but I still get a few auto-calls almost everyday.

        • by znanue (2782675)

          While your post is hilarious, I've never bought anything from a sales rep on the phone and I'm definitely not uncharitable with my frosty condescension if they happen to mislead me into thinking its a phone call I want to take. If I developed a reputation at all, I'd be the guy in the house that the traveling salesman decides to just skip. And, while tracking systems are scary, there can be some incidental positives for the reputation one develops. Who knows, I bet not talking to every telemarketer has a

        • Re:Both ways? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@world3AAA.net minus threevowels> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:48PM (#45449413) Homepage

          I find the best thing to do is press 1 to speak to an operator, then when they answer say "oh, sorry, I'm interested but can you hang on just a sec, my pot is boiling over..." Then they get put on hold, where the "music" is just a generic household background sounds track I downloaded from somewhere. Sometimes they hang on for 10 minutes before giving up.

      • by jbolden (176878)

        Sure. I'd pay $3 / mo for a "non telemarketing accessible number".

        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          I'm sure there will be companies that will take your $3/mo and block your number from all associated telemarketing service (singular on purpose).
          Ofcourse, this will not cover advertorials, market research, purchase assistance, telesales or whatever other name they can think of.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          My VoIP cost $1 a month and has been relative free of telemarketer. Even if they make it through, they won't be able to make another call from their whole block of numbers as I can wildcard redirect CID to "Number not in service".

          • by eudaemon (320983)
            $1/mo? Is that with 911 service? Who is the provider? Callcentric is $2.95/mo but you tack on another $3/mo for a 911 fee.
      • by qbast (1265706)
        Sure there is. Allow auction system - you pay phone company to prevent telemarking, telemarketers pay to allow their calls to get through. Whoever paid more wins and phone company gets all the money anyway.
      • by Roblimo (357)

        I have a lot of numbers blocked on my phones because, for some reason, the same idioholes call me over and over.

        My cell phone is nearly in stealth mode. I don't think 50 people have that number. I'm retired and don't need a lot of people bothering me. Really.

    • Re:Both ways? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @09:55AM (#45447967) Homepage

      That was my first thought, then I realised that if this database listed my number as ''a grouchy bugger who is just rude to unsolicited 'phone calls and does not buy things'' then I will get what I want: not be be bothered by span 'phone calls.

      • When I hear reputation I hear HR drones trying to make up some character correlation flaw for a filtering mechanism.

        I am cautious as I view this as another way for banks, insurance companies, and employers to screw you.

        • by swb (14022)

          Like your credit score, another number without any transparency easily manipulated into sub-optimal values so that you can be forced into paying more fees and higher costs.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Caller ID?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      people who's calls you do want to receive?

      The correct word is "whose", not "who's", you uneducated turd.

    • OH KAAAYY This post should have a Score:5 Funny but hell some people just have no sense of humour.

    • I solved this problem years ago with a catch-all blacklist on my mobile phone; If your number is hidden, my phone doesn't even ring.

      I don't give out my home phone number as I'm rarely there to answer it, hence all incoming calls are cold-calls.
    • by eudaemon (320983)
      That was one of the greatest Grandcentral features that Google eventually adopted. GC users could report a number and other GC users could subscribe to those reports, automatically blocking reported numbers. It was great.
  • by Type44Q (1233630) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @09:36AM (#45447907)

    ...to weed out the burner phones from the high-quality ones.

    What do you want to bet those "high quality" numbers quickly become a target for telemarketers to plunder? :p

    • by dotancohen (1015143) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @09:49AM (#45447951) Homepage

      ...to weed out the burner phones from the high-quality ones.

      What do you want to bet those "high quality" numbers quickly become a target for telemarketers to plunder? :p

      I came to say this. How is this not obvious? Or is that the actual reasoning behind the list?

      I think that this should be done in a fashion similar to how Google Chrome checks if addresses are malware. When your phone rings, md5 the phone number and send it off to be checked against a blacklist of known telemarketers. If it's not on the list and the call is marketing, then add it. Maybe I'll make an app for that.

      • by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @10:51AM (#45448217) Journal

        There is a code you used to be able to play as the call was being answered. This code either signified the call was incorrect or something along the lines of an automated computer answering instead of a human. I forget the name of the device but my brother installed one and all the telemarketing calls think it's a bust call and disconnect the call. I asked him why he kept getting crank calls and he explained how it worked and why when I answered his phone, no one was on the other end but this was years ago (2000 or so).

        I forget the name of the device he had but it would likely be quicker to just code something that did that and have it ask the person for a name or to push a number to have the call completed. If it got replied to, it wouldn't be most telemarketers. On the other hand, I never sign up for crap and don't have too many telemarketing calls. When I do, I demand they "take me off their list and any lists they have me associated with". They have to do so else face a fine each time they contact you after the request (document when this happens and with who they claim to be representing along with a number to report it). Most areas will give you a portion of the fines if it goes that far too (you may have to sue the company itself but its easily done). Even if your area doesn't allow the fines, telling them to take you off the list does two things, it first severs any existing permission like previous business and so on that could be used to get around do not call lists, and second, it establishes that you certainly will not purchase anything or donate anything to them and by removing you from the list or placing your number in their internal do not call list, it will be doing them a favor in conserving resources for more productive calls. So at minimum, that should get you out of some of the calls. On average, I get less then 2 telemarketing calls every month. Sometimes I go several months without any. And when the pissed off telemarketing drone start cussing you out, make a record of that and report it to the FCC or whatever regulating authority your area has.

        • by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @10:59AM (#45448247)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_information_tones [wikipedia.org]

          Still works, I use the 'service disconnected' SIT code as the opening to my voicemail message. Pretty much stops spam after the first call. The SIT codes are very timing and tone sensitive, so you need a good recording and to be able to upload a file for your voicemail message rather than trying to record it with the phone mic.

          • by Anonymous Coward
            So you have your voicemail answer after 3 or less rings? Because the telemarketer systems all hang up on the 4th ring so they don't get your voice message unless you set the ring count for answering under 4. You'll generally find that any calls that go on past 4 rings are not your normal telemarketing. They might be calls you don't want, but they usually are not an autodialer type telemarketing scheme.

            Of course the "do not call" list was supposed to protect those in the US from this crap already. It worked
          • by whois (27479)

            Except most telemarketers just changed their system to ignore those tones and continue the call for X amount of time or dead air or whatever.

            Instead of this I built a PBX for my house back when I had a house phone. You had to dial my extension to talk to me (the extension was in the greeting). It cut telemarketing calls by 100% but having to explain to non-technical family why they had to dial an extension was a bit rough.

            Now I only use a cellphone. I still get automated calls occasionally. What we need

            • by eudaemon (320983)
              Google Voice offers call screening. Anyone in your contact list is allowed through - everyone else has to announce their name which is played to you. You then have the option to take the call or send them to voicemail.
        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          This code either signified the call was incorrect or something along the lines of an automated computer answering instead of a human. I forget the name of the device but my brother installed one and all the telemarketing calls think it's a bust call and disconnect the call.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TeleZapper [wikipedia.org]
          I got one for my parents back in the late 90s and it massively cut down on junk calls after a few weeks.
          Eventually it "died" (there's a secret battery inside? thanks wikipedia) but it had served its purpose.
          Nowadays the Do Not Call list keeps crap calls to a minimum.

      • by Greyfox (87712)
        There are already several apps for things like that. The one I use doesn't allow calls to reach my phone unless they're in my contacts list. It drops others into my voicemail. If they leave a voicemail, I'll check to see if they're someone I want to talk to. If they are, I'll add them to my contacts and call them back.

        If you have a land-line, you can buy a SIP gateway, run asterisk and set up a similar system with asterisk. I've done that, too.

        • Can you make some suggestions? What are the names of the apps that you use?

          Thanks.

          • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:22PM (#45448913) Homepage Journal
            The one I use on my Android phone is Advanced Call Blocker. I found several similar apps, but this one does everything I'm looking for with a minimum of fuss. It's a paid app, but was only a couple of bucks and worth every penny. I think I'd have a hard time having a phone without this functionality now. I will disable it occasionally if I'm actually expecting a call from someone whose number I don't know, but I almost never do that.

            On the landline side, I don't recall which SIP gateway I bought last. They're nifty little devices you plug into your landline and into your ethernet switch, and when a call comes in they convert the call to a VOIP call and initiate a session with a SIP server. The gateway I bought had a web-based config page and was pretty easy to set up. You could probably set up asterisk on a Raspberry PI or something that doesn't suck too much power. You just need a little space you can write to for a voice mail box. You can do some nifty tricks with a setup like that -- you could install sipdroid or some other sip client app on your cell phone and have the asterisk server try to ring that. If you're not within range of your wlan, you could have it fail over to your voicemail box immediately. I played around with having it dial back out via a VOIP account if the call was from someone on a whitelist, effectively transferring the call to my cell phone. I had some issues with call quality doing that, though -- I'm pretty sure I didn't have echo cancellation set up correctly somewhere in the loop.

            You can also have asterisk do least-cost routing. I'd have it dial 800 and local numbers over the landline, try to find data address via enum with e164.org for other numbers and as a last resort dial long distance numbers using a voip account. Technically you don't need a landline in that mix, but at the time my bandwidth was severely limited and the landline was usually a cleaner connection.

            • Thank you! I'm actually learning Asterisk for work and I do have a Raspberry Pi. Your post is very helpful.

              Mods!

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @11:58AM (#45448525)

        on android, its called 'mr. number'.

        works great.

      • Unlike URLs, it's easy to brute force phone numbers from their hashes. Phone numbers are short and often have low entropy, from what I have seen the arbitrarily assignable part is usually no more than 8 digits, the rest being related to geographic region etc. Even with say 10-11 digits it is trivial for a GPU.
        • Unlike URLs, it's easy to brute force phone numbers from their hashes. Phone numbers are short and often have low entropy, from what I have seen the arbitrarily assignable part is usually no more than 8 digits, the rest being related to geographic region etc. Even with say 10-11 digits it is trivial for a GPU.

          You are right and it presents an interesting problem! I would love to hear a solution, other than downloading the entire database to every device.

    • all the more important that the do not call lists be enforced

    • by znanue (2782675)
      Maybe those lonely grannies whose kids and grandkids are neglecting them can develop an algorithm for the minimum amount of money they'll have to spend to keep getting the calls at a satisfactory rate. We could develop a service, or charity, to help them with the algorithm.
  • Oh my. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Sunday November 17, 2013 @09:43AM (#45447935)

    So additionally to mailinator.com we will need a phoninator.com if this catches on.

    A couple of hundred numbers where you'd add your own random Number, then read the SMS and delete it immediately.

    • by jarkus4 (1627895)

      Unlikely, since you cant get phone numbers for free. In regards to availability phone numbers are closer to IP addresses then emails (limited amount, regulation etc).
      Also those numbers would quickly become 1000 ranked because of huge activity.

      • by MRe_nl (306212)

        You can't get a telephone-number for free? Buy a phone for $40,- and get a unique number. Not exactly free but close enough.

        • Forget the phone, just buy a sim card to get a number.
          • by tepples (727027)
            Provided you live in a country where SIM-only service is common, that is, somewhere other than Slashdot's home country.
            • by mlts (1038732) *

              I can spend $10 and get a T-Mobile SIM plus some prepaid minutes.

              In fact, if I'm doing Craigslist transactions, I use a burner phone, and when done, destroy the SIM card [1] and get a new one. That way, after I buy/sell something, I'm not dealing with all the fraudsters who have sons on oil rigs or are willing to send me $50,000 cashiers checks.

              I avoid CDMA providers, because if one wants a new number, the whole phone has to be destroyed or recycled. However, once done with the phone, handing it to the ne

            • T-Mobile is common. Not universal perhaps, but they're common.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          You can't get a telephone-number for free? Buy a phone for $40,- and get a unique number. Not exactly free but close enough.

          I think you need to learn how money works. "$40" and "free" are, in fact, not the same thing. If you understood this then you would realise your reply is pointless.

          You probably need this: "Free" [reference.com].

        • You can get thousands of e-mail addresses for free, and one 'phone number for $40 which is almost free. Therefore you can get thousands of 'phone numbers for nearly free.

          FTFY. And you made me almost crack a smile - bravo.

          Doesn't everyone use Asterisk to troll the telemarketers?

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Not free but cheap. I just pre-paid my phone subscription for a year - just out of convenience - just over US$30, including more minutes than I ever use (700 minutes a month or so). Use pre-paid and it's even cheaper (effectively about USD 6.5 for half year - when the number expires - good enough for just receiving SMS)

        This makes me consider to indeed get a number especially for that purpose. And use another number for my regular calls.

      • Google voice will give you a phone number for "free." It has many interesting options for routing your calls...

      • by rea1l1 (903073)

        You can if you make use of Google voice. You're able to select your number from a list and change it at any time.

  • while phone number is unique at any given moment, it doesnt necessarily mean it stays with same person. Most providers sell the used numbers some time after they got inactive.
    Good luck to the new buyer of 1000 ranked number :)

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      If only there was a way to inform the phone companies when a number changes owner...

      Maybe you could set up a service to help them know about it. It would be worth a fortune!

      • by jarkus4 (1627895)

        phone companies generally know this. Im not quite sure about this weird rating one - it doesnt seem to be connected with actual phone service providers.

    • Re:not really unique (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bz386 (1424109) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @10:03AM (#45447997)

      while phone number is unique at any given moment, it doesnt necessarily mean it stays with same person. Most providers sell the used numbers some time after they got inactive. Good luck to the new buyer of 1000 ranked number :)

      When I moved to the US, I bought a T-Mobile SIM. A month later, I started receiving robo calls from a debt collector. After about 10 of those calls I finally gave in and called them back on their 800 number and they gave me the name of some guy they were looking for. Probably the previous owner of the number...

  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 17, 2013 @10:02AM (#45447995)

    ... when do my reputation scores start getting reputation scores?

  • by cellocgw (617879) <cellocgw.gmail@com> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @10:05AM (#45448013) Journal

    I have avoided making a whitelist so far, on the theory that every now and then someone (maybe even a friend! :-) ) might call me from a different number, and I'd hate to block legit calls, but if the mere fact that I've had the same number for 20 years and occasionally call retailers from said number means I'm highly rated & thus a robocall target, it'll be time to block 'em all.
    (wow, that was a Faulknerian sentence :-) )

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I use a blacklist for callers who call more than twice and don't leave a message. Usually toll free, sometimes local, and of course my favorite 000-000-0000 callers.

      Another method if you want to see who called but don't want to be bothered immediately, is use a contact with a silent ringtone.

    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      When you are robocalled umpteen times a day, it may feel little better than as I lay dying.
    • by glavenoid (636808)

      What I would like is a system where I can whitelist the numbers I expect to need to allow to call me which would then go through like normal, but in the cases where I can't whitelist the number in advance, have a voice-menu type screening system where a human caller needs to listen for and repeat a randomly generated PIN (or other code) in order for the call to go through.

      Is this a technical infeasibility? I looked into using a custom asterisk BPX-based solution like this several years ago but put it on the

  • by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@nosPam.comcast.net> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @10:08AM (#45448031)

    Everything you do has an online score that has a given value to someone. Your slashdot account (and similar accounts) has an online score from any number of companies that monitor such websites for third parties. They look for for your influential posters, political views, shills accounts, who you look for and so on. You would then be valued according to your usefulness to the organization. These companies range from managing online reputations for companies to countries (ever notice certain stories get a lot of hits from Venezuela etc). Certainly facebook, twitter and similar accounts have companies that watch your reputation and score it as well.

    If it's Amazon and you are a reviewer of products and nobody finds your reviews useful than your value is low. If your reviews are well thought of and highly considered you will start to get packages from companies hoping to a review. After a while you could become a professional reviewer without ever paying for packages.

    Even things like credit scores [myfico.com] aren't standardized anymore and haven't been for years. You could be a perfectly acceptable risk to buy a house, and get turned down for a credit card. You will have a different credit score from each agency based on what type of vendor is requesting your score and for what purpose. You will have one number for employment, another for renting, another for getting a car loan and so on.

    The last I checked there are about 1500 different types of credit scores alone (do you know your behavior score?) and they change all the time. Your scores change all the time based on what you buy, where you buy it and when you buy it. Welcome to the world of big data. Don't fear big government, it's big business that you need to worry about.

  • It's true that some carriers, in some countries allow you to port your number (though that's hardly everywhere, making the 'worldwide claim of this database the same be just an empty claim). So some 'things' have changed, just a little. But, most importantly, 'Things' such as phone numbers, are still, to my knowledge, incapable of autonomous intentionality and even of having enough singular qualities for this company's mission to make any sense. A phone number neither intends to do good or evil, nor doe
    • by johanw (1001493)

      But even in countries where you can easily keep your number, the earlier example of somone called by debt collectors would probably deliberately change his/her number.

  • The NSA just found an easy way to find out WHO to tap via "PhoneID".
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @10:26AM (#45448127) Homepage Journal
    My phone # is 867-5309, it already has a reputation you insensitive clod!
  • by koan (80826)

    Seems like a service you offer to people that don't know better, but maybe I'm missing the full implications.
    Side Note: I don't want offers or scores or anything on a burner, that alone seems self explanatory.

  • This trend toward requiring a mobile phone as the second factor for two-factor authentication is going to hurt people who use a land line instead of carrying a cell phone or for people like me who use a low-cost prepaid plan the way one used to use a payphone. Free web applications such as Facebook and Yahoo! aren't so free if you have to buy a cell phone and keep service active.
    • by w_dragon (1802458)
      My landline does text-to-speech on any SMS sent to it, which works fine for the 2-factor schemes I've run across that use purely numeric codes. Have you tried sending an SMS to your land line to see what happens?
      • Some schemes that I've seen in use on the Internet require the user to not only receive SMS but also reply through SMS to a shortcode. But once I get home sometime in the next 12 hours, I plan to try texting my home number (a land line on Frontier), and I'll let you all know whether I receive it.
      • Have you tried clicking on "No, thanks" or "Nag me about this later"? I always thought Google, Yahoo and others pretended to need your number for "conveniance" and "safety" but that it's just an unsubtle ploy to get your number. It's like being robbed, but politely and with your consent.

    • This trend toward requiring a mobile phone as the second factor for two-factor authentication is going to hurt people who use a land line instead of carrying a cell phone or for people like me who use a low-cost prepaid plan the way one used to use a payphone. Free web applications such as Facebook and Yahoo! aren't so free if you have to buy a cell phone and keep service active.

      Get a Google Voice number. You can send and receive SMS messages from the GV website.

      • I've read anecdotal reports on forums that providers have begun to block Google Voice numbers from being used to verify accounts. As the reputation score scheme described in the featured article becomes more popular among providers, Google Voice as a carrier is likely to get blocked more often. Besides, immigrating to the United States to subscribe to Google Voice is more expensive than just subscribing to cell phone service.
  • by tompaulco (629533) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @11:08AM (#45448283) Homepage Journal
    Is this another way for them to pay absolutely no attention to the Do Not Call List? My number is on the DNC list, and yet I get about 6 calls a day from telemarketers. I get maybe three calls a week from people who have any legitimate reason to be calling me.
    The fines are not stiff enough for violaters of DNC. Further, the telemarketers use caller ID spoofing to not present a legitimate callback number so that you can determine who they are in order to prosecute. The only way to actually catch them is to buy one of their products and find out where the money goes, and who wants to do that? Even when that happens they are probably being paid by another company to sell their wares, so you still wouldn't find the telemarketing company, although you should be able to find out from the company that apparently hired them.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @11:08AM (#45448287) Journal

    Where is the absolute outrage about the harvesting of meta-data which was aimed at the NSA?

    Here's a company doing it for profit, willing to sell access to the highest bidder (or just for a flat rate), whereas when the NSA does it for national security reasons, it's like they kill a puppy every time they save to disc. If you're really worried about undue influence of political structures, this is far more damning and easier to access/leverage than a top secret database.

    You all should be lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks, not bitching about telemarketer strategies.

    • Torches and pitchforks? Mere non-participation (on a wide scale, of course) in today's zeitgeist is enough to out the powers that be.
    • by martas (1439879)
      Because sometimes government is scarier than profit-driven private entities. Typically the worst thing that can happen to me from businesses having my private info is advertising inundation; inability to qualify for loans; getting ripped off because the entity selling me a product or service knows I can afford it; etc. The worst thing that the government can do, however, includes diminished ability to travel (no-fly lists and such), forced cooperation (warrants, secret or otherwise; forced questioning regar
      • Yes, this.

        TLDR: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
      • We've not even begun to see what private uses of these things will cause.

        PEOPLE who still run the corporations still want POWER; you missed one. Some power plays are not solely for greater profit (since money is a big source of power the two are intertwined.) Power attracts evil bastards anywhere it is available to attain, government or corporate.

        Governments historically can do a lot of things but one does have to remember that Fascism is a government and private partnership... They are merely institution

    • by sdnoob (917382)

      i am outraged, and may comment soon. but right now i'm laughing too hard at all the fucking idiots who willingly give the likes of google and facebook and twitter their telephone number, especially their private, not in phone books, cell phone number.... hahahahahaha.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @11:19AM (#45448335) Homepage

    Telesign pulls where the phones were registered and who provides the service. The older an account is, the better. And if the number shows up as attached to legitimate accounts with companies, apps, and websites to which Telesign provides services, thatâ(TM)s a good thing. Having a newly-opened account results in a lower score, or using a less-well known carrier, or having a number thatâ(TM)s not registered with some of the customers for which this company does two-factor authentication.

    this is all vital information I'll take into consideration. I'm clearly going to switch to cricket mobile, and refuse to use call-to-verify services. because if youre going to maintain a clandestine or "closed" as you call it network of telephone activity used by corporations to target and analyze me as a consumer, I'd like to ensure I rank right around anders brevik and james holmes. I want this ranking, because the companies that need to stalk my every waking moment in search of a need, want, or urge to exploit are the kinds of companies that should be razed to the ground. they dont offer a product or service anyone needs, much like you. rather, they are a font of predatory behavior that in any other walk of life, government or private, would absolutely not be tolerated.

  • Maybe it's just my cynicism, but it just feels like that score is going to reflect more than what they're saying. You know, like how likely the sucker is to answer the phone if the caller-id is blocked or susceptibility to cold-call salesmen. When it comes to potential profit, should a person ever underestimate how shady things can get?
  • As someone who works at a business who could not operate without this type of information I understand it's necessity. It's sad but it's necessary in today's world. Just like IP reputation, device, address reputation and many other things, a vendor, a provider, or person on the other end of the world can only know so much given a certain piece of information. It's incredibly valuable to know if someone is calling from a VOIP number when you're running a high risk business. Some times for some transa

    • by HiThere (15173)

      I think you take an incredibly naive and optomistic view of this endeavor. Either that, or you're a shill.

      Or, of course, you don't care how others will be hurt, as long as you get the benefits, in which case you deserve to be lumped in with "predatory, and deserve to be razed to the ground".

      • by nichachr (98296)

        I'm not a shill. Our business does not depend on a phone reputation service but it does incorporate many different services including ip reputation services & device reputation services. These are essential for stopping fraud for the people who's credit cards are stolen and used at our site. Perhaps your naive for not realizing what's going on around you. The article describes the pervasiveness of the profiling that's been going with major brands.

        How is this different than services like:

        maxmind -

    • by PPH (736903)

      Sorry. It's far too easy to spoof phone numbers already. Even E911 can be fooled into mis-identifying the source of a prank call.

      If you need to establish trust with some remote party, that will have to be based on some protocol which assumes an untrusted network.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      If this information is "necessary", then you shouldn't be in business.

      Period.

      • by nichachr (98296)

        Doesn't a bank have a legitimate need to know if they're dealing with someone on a landline, a mobile phone or a VOIP phone when deciding as part of an online transaction if they're extending that person a line of credit?

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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