Typing Telephone Numbers Into Google.com Can Return Maps to the Number’s Address–Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
This is a warning that the search engine at www.google.com has a feature that will map the location of a telephone number. It suggests having Google remove your number so anyone with harmful motives will not be able to use the feature against you.
This is one of those eRumors that focuses on a non-sinister feature of the Internet and makes it sound sinister. We have not been able to find any evidence that any law enforcement agency has issued any warnings about the Google search for phone numbers.
Google.com is one of the most versatile search engines on the Internet. One of the features built into Google is the ability to conveniently look up information from the White Pages of any telephone book. If you type a name, address, and city of a person with a listed phone number, you will probably get that person’s White Pages listing which includes the telephone number. As an added feature, Google includes a couple of mapping services in case you want to look up the location. In the same way, you can enter the telephone number alone and if it is a listed number, you’ll get the complete listing including the address and, if desired, the mapping to that address.
The problem with the eRumor is that it makes it sound as though this is priviledged information, which it is not. It’s the same information that could be gotten from a phone book or directory assistance. It also makes it sound as though the feature is specifically for the purpose of entering a phone number and finding a map. It is not. The feature finds all the listed information about phone number and includes the mapping if you choose it.
If, for some reason, you do not wish for your information to be available through Google, you can, as the eRumor describes, click the telephone icon next to your information and they will remove you from their database, but that means very little. The reason the information is there is because it’s public and removing it from Google doesn’t prevent anyone from having it. They can go to the telephone book, directory assistance, or any of the other pages on the Internet that have name, address, and telephone information. If you don’t want the information to be public, contact your telephone provider and ask about an unlisted number or a number that does not list your address.