More On Wireless 411

Congress today discussed the issue of a wireless phone subscriber directory, much like 411 service for landlines. New in today’s discussion was a bill from Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Penn, that would require any such directory to be truly Opt-in, and not to charge those who opt out. Meanwhile, CTIA head Steve Largent said any legislation now would be premature, since a 411 service has not even been implemented yet. Wha?? Are legislators supposed to wait until a bad solution is implemented, and our private data is loose before passing laws to prevent it? How does Mr. Largent suggest the genie could be put back in the bottle: once that data is public, it’s public forever. Just ask Paris Hilton. The Pitt bill would simply force any industry solution to respect certain privacy, and extortion concerns of the consumer. Meanwhile, it’s not clear how a wireless 411 is ever going to happen, since Verizon Wireless CEO Denny Strigl says he thinks the whole thing is a terrible idea.

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