Caller ID and My Privacy

Fact Sheet 19Caller ID and My Privacy

Caller Identification, or Caller ID, acts like an electronic peephole, allowing a person receiving a phone call to see who is calling before answering the phone. The caller’s telephone number and/or name is displayed either on your phone (if your phone has this feature) or on a display unit that you must buy separately. Caller ID means you lose control over the privacy of your phone number -- unless you take advantage of the free phone number blocking options that are available to you.

There's no such thing as an unlisted number

September 1, 1995

Fred had a Visa credit card with his bank. He recently moved and did not give his new unlisted number to the bank. But when he received the credit card statement, he noticed that his unlisted number was printed on the statement.

Caller ID: The Case for Consumer Education

The introduction of Caller ID to California has been an enlightening study in what happens when consumers are given adequate information to make meaningful decisions about safeguarding their privacy. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has mandated that the local phone companies educate consumers about the privacy implications of Caller ID. The CPUC has also required that the phone companies make both Complete and Selective Blocking available to consumers at no charge (called Per Line and Per Call Blocking in other states).

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