O2 has been accused of passing on phone numbers to every website visited through its mobile data networks.
O2 customer’s phone numbers are being handed out when using its 3G network, with the network inserting data containing this sensitive information when you visit any website.
While it is usually the case that some anonymous information is available when you visit a web page – such as your IP address and time of visit – O2 has been freely handing out phone numbers in a worrying breach of privacy.
You can check the O2 SNAFU by visiting this website hosted by Lewis Peckover on your O2 3G connection. TechEye had a look and our digits were clearly there.
Of course, this also means that other providers using O2’s network are likely to do the same, including GiffGaff and Tesco.
TechEye has approached O2 which has confirmed it is aware that there is an “issue” which “is being looked into at the moment”. O2 refused to respond to any questions – including whether or not the cock-up was deliberate.
It is an embarrassing revelation for O2 as it steps up its mobile internet services to its own customers, as well as non-O2 customers. Furthermore, O2 is currently spearheading a move to 4G services with a trial in central London. Free distribution of private information is unlikely to sit well with the company’s image.