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Majority of U.S. Mobile Phone Users Against Development of Wireless Directory
[December 07, 2004]

Majority of U.S. Mobile Phone Users Against Development of Wireless Directory

SAN FRANCISCO and GREENWICH, Conn., Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent national survey conducted by TNS and sponsored by TRUSTe, the leading nonprofit online privacy certification organization, revealed that more than half of mobile phone users (53%) are against the establishment of a nationwide directory of wireless numbers. The survey, which polled 1,068 consumers, also indicated that 56 percent would opt-out of publishing their numbers.

The proposed 411 directory would be a database comprising wireless mobile phone numbers provided by five major U.S. wireless carriers: Cingular Wireless / AT&T Wireless, Nextel, Sprint PCS, and T-Mobile. Verizon Wireless is the only carrier who opposes the creation of the wireless 411 directory.
Mobile carriers are developing this directory to satisfy the needs of small businesses that use wireless phones as their primary means of communication with customers. Vendors also benefit from this directory because they will have public listings not currently available for use for marketing purposes. The database will also include consumers' mobile phone information. Wireless carriers, however, in considering the privacy issues this directory would present to their private consumer users, have announced customers will have to affirmatively ask for their numbers to be added.
"Only three in ten Americans support the creation of a wireless directory. And with just one in ten mobile phone users saying they would want to be listed, a wireless directory would not find immediate popularity among consumers," said David Stark, TNS's privacy officer for North America.
TRUSTe strongly supports a true opt-in standard for a wireless directory meaning no pre-checked boxes, and more important no implied opt-in (e.g., no interpreting a sign-up for service as an opt-in to the directory). TRUSTe has formed a wireless privacy advisory committee published a set of privacy guidelines and implementation standards for wireless service providers. The guidelines call for opt-in standards for personal information use beyond provisions of service.
"Most consumers are not asking for this 411 mobile phone directory," said Fran Maier, president and executive director of TRUSTe. "The choice to keep their wireless phone numbers private, or to publish them in a directory, should remain in the control of the individual."
The TNS/TRUSTe survey was conducted online between October 15 and 20, 2004. E-mail invitations were sent to a nationally representative sample of the TNS Internet Access panel, comprised of more than one million U.S. households who have agreed to participate in survey research from time-to-time. In total, 1,068 online interviews were completed and the survey results are considered accurate to within three percentage points, 19 out of 20 times.
To file an online privacy complaint, visit the TRUSTe's consumer Watchdog site at For more information about the survey, please contact Andrea Fuentes of FitzGerald Communications.
About TNS
TNS is one of the world's leading providers of market information. The company delivers strategic market measurement, analysis, insight and advice to many of the world's largest organizations and most recognized brands. TNS's research helps its clients better understand the needs and wants of their customers, and its capabilities span market segmentation, advertising and communications, new product development, brand performance and stakeholder management. The company is also one of the leading providers of social and political polling. From its global network that spans 70 countries who together conduct research in more than 110 countries, TNS allows for local expertise and knowledge to be combined together with internationally consistent information and analysis.
TNS is listed on the London Stock Exchange (TNN) and is a trademark of Taylor Nelson Sofres plc. Further information can be found on
About TRUSTe
TRUSTe, the online privacy leader, is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling individuals and organizations to establish trusting relationships based on respect for personal identity and information in the evolving networked world.
Founded in 1997, TRUSTe runs an award-winning global privacy certification and seal program. Its seal programs are considered Safe Harbors for the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the EU Safe Harbor Framework. Today, TRUSTe maintains the largest privacy seal program with more than 1,400 Web sites certified throughout the world including AOL, Microsoft, IBM, Nationwide and The New York Times. TRUSTe's mission extends standards, certification and oversight into email with Bonded Sender. For more information on TRUSTe please visit

CONTACT: Carolyn Hodge of TRUSTe, +1-415-618-3415, or [email protected];or Andrea Fuentes of FitzGerald Communications, +1-202-973-2977, [email protected], for TRUSTe; or David Stark of TNS, +1-416-346-5434, [email protected]

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