O2’s in the doghouse today after an angry customer pointed out that his phone number was being handed out to the webmaster of every site he visited over a 3G connection. It turns out that if you visited a webpage from a 3G connection on your phone between 10th January and 2pm UK time today, chances are your phone number has been handed out to at least one person.
Obviously, this caused quite a lot of uproar from customers. O2 quickly responded by fixing the issue within a few hours and then posted rather a long Q&A post on their blog detailing what had happened.
It would seem the company also took the oppertunity to remind customers that some “trusted” partners are allowed to get hold of our mobile numbers if they decide it is necessary. They claim that some companies using premium rate services need phone numbers so that any charges can be added to your bill – but many customers are questioning whether O2 are actually being transparent here.
Nonetheless, this is a pretty big blow for O2 and the customer outrage has attracted the attention of the Information Commissioner. O2 also say that they’re in touch with Ofcom to discuss what happened.