Verizon Wireless: Directory still "dumb idea"

Verizon Wireless is once again fighting the creation of a directory that lists the cell phone numbers of private citizens. Seattle-based Intelius aims to charge users a fee to find an "unlisted" or "unpublished" mobile number, which Verizon Wireless claims is mined from the Internet.

"Trolling the Internet, using data mining techniques and simply buying lists to create a directory are actions that clearly violate a consumer's right to privacy," Verizon Wireless VP and general Steve Zipperstein said in a statement. "Verizon Wireless has long refused to release our customers' numbers and we call on legislators and policy makers to ensure that what a consumer wants to be private stays that way."

Back in 2004, the carrier also led a successful campaign to thwart Portland, Ore.-based company Qsent, which planned to offer a cell phone directory that it would create with the help of all U.S. wireless carriers except Verizon Wireless. Qsent's plans fell through and the company was acquired by TransUnion Contact Identity Services. Qsent's wireless 411 website is no longer active.

For more on Verizon Wireless' opposition to the directory:
- read this press release from the company