Information Policy Fact Sheet
NOTE: THIS DOCUMENT HAS NOT BEEN UPDATED FOR YEARS. WE LEAVE IT HERE FOR ITS HISTORICAL VALUE.
Telephone companies have introduced a new class of services, known as
Caller ID (CID) or Automatic Number Identification (ANI) into
Washington State. The introduction of these services has an
impact on every telephone customer in the areas where these new
services are being introduced.
What Is The Issue?
Caller ID will allow a person, who has purchased the service, to see
the telephone number and the name of a phone customer of an
incoming call. This name and number is divulged without the
permission of the person who is placing the call.
The introduction of Caller ID raises the issue of who controls your
personal information, you or the phone company. In this case, the
phone company is behaving as if the name of the registered user
of the phone and the phone number should be controlled by them.
Unlike most other features that come with phone service, Caller ID and
other related services forces every single telephone company
customer to make a decision about how to protect their personal
information, if they want to.
Action In This State
In 1992, the Washington State Utilities and Transportation
Commission (WUTC) ruled that Caller ID can be introduced in
Washington State which included the following requirements:
1. All telephone companies in Washington have to start the
service at the same time.
2. The telephone customers must notify their customers 60 days in
advance of the service starting.
3. There will be a 90 day period after the service starts where
customers can choose to get line blocking for free. Line
blocking will block a customer's name and number from being
4. Every year there will be a 30 day open period where customers
can opt to start line blocking for free.
5. A company cannot collect Caller ID information and sell it to
a third party, e.g. a direct marketer.
What You Can Do
We recommend that you decide whether or not you would like to control
the transmission of the number and the name of the registered
user of the telephone that you make calls from. If you do, opt
for free line blocking when the telephone company offers the
opportunity to do so.
Per call blocking is always available for U.S. West customers in
Washington State, regardless of whether you have opted for free
line blocking. Press *67 before a call to block the
transmission of your phone number.
If you are the victim of telephone harassment, we recommend that you
use another feature in these class of services called Call Trace.
Call Trace will record the number of an incoming call for a small
fee. If you want to prosecute, the information will be made
available to law enforcement agencies.
tagged by gene chung-ngai moy, CPSR-LA
12:22 AM PST on 11/11/96
Created before October 2004