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Withheld Numbers: Tracing, Logging, Managing, and Enforcing Policy respect of them?

Started by: thunderdragon
On: 03/12/2018 | 21:23
Replies: 5
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by: thunderdragon
on: 03/12/2018 | 21:23 edited: 03/12/2018 | 21:29
Hi everyone! :-)
Earlier today I received a "Silent" call from a "Withheld" number, which did not give any response when I answered the call in a language other than English (My standard approach when answering "Withheld" numbers) - I suspect the call may have been automated, or an attempted scam. After this I opened an Agent ticket requesting the ICCID (Phone number) which had originated the call* but subsequently received a response from the Agent which was to the effect that they "Couldn't provide this information".
(* - It should be noted the owner/operator of a receiving station - Such as a mobile 'phone - Has a statutory right of access to inbound ICCIDs for the purpose of system, network and security management in respect of his/her own equipment, even if the name of the originator (If a private individual) can legally be withheld.)

Now: Based on my understanding of the Law, the receiving end of a telephone call (Or other communication) has the right to oblige all originators of communications directed at them to make clear the number they are calling from and/or can be reached by if the receiver so requires it, as this would prevent withholding of numbers being used for abusive and unlawful purposes. However the outcome of my Agent ticket today seems to put control of annonymity into the hand of the originator, which in my mind doesn't seem at all right.
In addition: Even after going through all of the settings in my GiffGaff account, I can't find any option which would block communications from such "Withheld" numbers and inform them that they have to allow display of their number for a call (Or other communication) to my station (Phone) to be effected.

Shouldn't there be a way of setting-up a GG account to inhibit calls from "Withheld" numbers as suggested above, as well as a streamlined (Self-service) process for recording and retrieving the ICCIDs associated with such calls?
Also: Does anyone know of any past legal findings which assuredly assert control and availability of call annonymity to the hand of either the calling or called party, please? :-)

Many thanks in advance for any gen! :-)
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Message 1 of 6
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by: k89bpa
on: 05/12/2018 | 19:33
I definitely agree with you on the proposals for making companies and government agencies/departments, (including NHS departments), identify themselves when they call you @thunderdragon.

That is something that I have long thought makes a lot of sense and the fact that so many don't used to be incredibly frustrating to me until I decided to adopt a "**bleep** you!", attitude to people wanting to contact me without a valid caller ID.

I always advise companies who ask for my number that they'll only ever be able to use it for identification unless they show their main number, (or the number they expect me to call to contact them), as their caller ID.

Likewise because of my mail filtering I always advise them that they must include my name in their emails to me, otherwise I'll never see them.

It's my little way of trying to push the change we'd all probably like to see.

On the question of your number being divulged and receiving unwelcome calls I think that the current way is good enough.

The method is to report to the mobile company, report to the police and get a crime reference number, get a free number change whilst the calls become a criminal matter and the police take appropriate action, (hopefully).

I know it's a hassle changing number so it's not ideal, but by the same token, do not disturb on handsets and inclusive blocking can stop these types of calls being a hassle to ones daily life without the hassle of changing numbers.

Definitely with you on insisting non-private bodies and individuals should be made to display a valid caller ID, (I do think it should be numerical though, not alphanumeric, purely because alphanumeric is more difficult to block locally thanks to phones typical software).
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Message 6 of 6
by: k89bpa
on: 04/12/2018 | 00:44
I don't care about network level blocking to be honest, I block all strangers from calling me anyway.

I do strongly object to the practice of my number being revealed to anyone without my consent though. I don't usually withhold my number, but sometimes I might if I don't want someone to have it. If the number is given to them regardless of my clear indication that I don't want them to have it then I would consider this to be a breach of privacy and I would take appropriate action.

This may very well be why giffgaff won't give you the callers number, (although some providers show no caller ID, I can set my sip accounts to show no caller ID - it comes up as unknown when I call someone with that setting active), so that may be why they aren't providing you with the number.

So, I'm afraid I'm against both proposals.

As for the legal position, I'm afraid I haven't got a clue but since GDPR it's extremely likely that phone numbers are considered personal information and thus cannot be given out by third parties without their consent if the caller is a private person and perhaps even if the caller is using their personal work number.

I know for instance that they can no longer be displayed in the public whois of domain names for this precise reason.
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Message 2 of 6
by: giffgaff20147
on: 04/12/2018 | 14:26

@thunderdragon

I don’t approve of my number being divulged . I withhold it when calling company’s or those I don’t want to have it ,

 

As far as receiving calls you have to decide do you answer or not I don’t think it’s any big deal but we need to due to things like NHS withholding numbers 

even things like benefits agencys all withhold ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message 3 of 6
by: endorphin
on: 04/12/2018 | 16:20

Ofcom deems it a right to be able to withhold your number

 

"As individuals have the right to withhold their CLI to maintain their privacy, it is also important that CLI Data is passed on reliably so that the privacy of individuals can be respected."

 

from https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/information-for-industry/telecoms-industry-gui...

Get a free giffgaff SIM/microSIM/nanoSIM with free £5 credit
Message 4 of 6
by: thunderdragon
on: 05/12/2018 | 19:12 edited: 05/12/2018 | 19:32
Hey again everyone! :-)
K89Bpa wrote:
I don't care about network level blocking to be honest, I block all strangers from calling me anyway.
I do strongly object to the practice of my number being revealed to anyone without my consent though. I don't usually withhold my number, but sometimes I might if I don't want someone to have it. If the number is given to them regardless of my clear indication that I don't want them to have it then I would consider this to be a breach of privacy and I would take appropriate action.
GiffGaff20147 wrote:
I don’t approve of my number being divulged . I withhold it when calling company’s or those I don’t want to have it.
@k89bpa @giffgaff20147 Agreed with you on both points insofar as the blocking of calling number by A private individual is concerned, but my main problem with this is companies and organisations which also exploit the system. If it was down to me, blocking of originating number would only be available to lines operated by individuals on their Private & Personal numbers.

The other issue I have with being unable to identify the calling party prior to answer (In all cases) is not knowing Who is calling (Or tried to call) and being able to work out the reasons for them calling. If "Withheld" shows on my screen I don't know whether it could be my Parents (Who do withhold) or a Doctor trying to contact me to inform me of important news concerning relatives in ill health, a telemarketer trying to sell me badly engineered Brexit at overinflated prices, or a scammer trying (And failing) to get me to install Windows malware on my Linux computer! :-o :-p
K89Bpa wrote:
As far as receiving calls you have to decide do you answer or not I don’t think it’s any big deal but we need to due to things like NHS withholding numbers. Even things like benefits agencys all withhold.
And this - In my mind - Is half the problem. If the system showed a validated non-diallable caller ID for numbers like that (Such as "Guys Hospital", "Dept. for Work & Pensions" or "Her Majestys' R&C") that would at least give the called party some assurance as to who it is and why the caller might have their number, as well as making scam calls considerably more difficult for those attempting them.

I lose/fail a lot of calls from withheld numbers which might well have been placed by legitimate agencies who are calling me for service related reasons (Such as my bank) for the simple reason that the caller insists that I expose my personal details and identify myself before allowing me to verify that they are legitimately calling from the organisation which they claim to be calling on behalf of. The number of times I've refused to validate in these cases and simply insisted they send me communication by post (If they're genuine, they already have those details of course) is quite high indeed! :-o

In this day and age, you simply cannot trust that a caller is who they say they are until they've correctly answered a question which only the legitimate organisation could possibly answer correctly. Dates of recent statements or requested letters/numbers from specific sections of text in a shared document, for example. :-)
K89BPA wrote:
This may very well be why giffgaff won't give you the callers number, (although some providers show no caller ID, I can set my sip accounts to show no caller ID - it comes up as unknown when I call someone with that setting active), so that may be why they aren't providing you with the number.
My Agent ticket has been furthered, and it reveals that GiffGaff don't actually capture & store information for inbound traffic at all - This basically means they avoid risks of exposure of that information by not logging it in the first place. This was a practice the EFF recommended back when RIPA was first proposed, and in that respect, I suppose it's perfectly fair and understandable.

What this doesn't solve though is the worries for customers like myself with severe Anxiety problems, who have no idea whether that call might've been important/relevant to them or not. Was it a telemarketer/scammer wanting to waste both our time, or could it have been my ex partner (Who I still consider a much loved mate) wanting to talk to me about something that's relevant to the both of us? :-/
K89BPA wrote:
As for the legal position, I'm afraid I haven't got a clue but since GDPR it's extremely likely that phone numbers are considered personal information and thus cannot be given out by third parties without their consent if the caller is a private person and perhaps even if the caller is using their personal work number. I know for instance that they can no longer be displayed in the public whois of domain names for this precise reason.
Endorphin wrote:
Ofcom deems it a right to be able to withhold your number
"As individuals have the right to withhold their CLI to maintain their privacy, it is also important that CLI Data is passed on reliably so that the privacy of individuals can be respected." [Ofcom]
Aye, I'd agree with the above as well. The only thing is - In this case - Is that the rights of the caller and the called party appear to clash with one another under what the GDPR says each can access about the other. Surely if my number was posted to a Facebook group without my consent and people used it to contact me (Say; With threatening phone calls or whatever) I'd have a right in Law to identify who those persons are and - From this - Possibly identify where my number was shared out from and by whom?

In my mind, at least, there is one thing that is absolutely clear: The ability of a caller to withhold their telephone number and show an "Annonymous" identity should only be available to private individuals calling from their own personal lines. It should not be available to organisations, whose contact number and/or (Ideally; Validated) name should be given instead.

Taking these into account; If I was to re-design the CDS, I'd probably set it up a bit like this:
  • Recognised State organisations (DWP etc): Displays name (No number) and a "Verified/Enhanced (Gov)" tick.
  • Protected Commercials (Banks etc): As per State Orgs, with a "Verified/Enhanced (Financial)" tick.
  • Commercial Orgs/Charities: Name of company with Customer Svcs number and a standard "Verified" tick.
  • Other Commercial: Name of company or physical number originating the call. "Patched-in" CS numbers would be prohibited.
  • Public Telephones, Call Offices and VoiP endpoints: Telephone number of station originating the call and noted "(Public)".
  • --- For ALL off the above, displaying a "Widthheld" status would be banned. ---
  • Personal/Private numbers: If known to the called party - i.e: There's an established contact history between them with calls originating in both directions (Which the originating network could determine) - Then "Withheld (Known to you)" would be shown if the caller withholds. Otherwise, a "Withheld (NOT known to you)" or "Withheld (International)" status would be shown.
I think that'd be a much better arrangement than the present, don't you? :-)

@endorphin Many thanks for the Ofcom citation - It's very handy! ^_^
(Also: Could you please do me a favour and add Kudos from me for all three replies above and BA @k89bpa's one for me, please? Lithium still won't allow me to do either because of it's terrible approach to browser support! Cheers! :-)

+++ ThunderDragon +++
WARNING: The "Always On" GoodyBag does NOT offer unlimited data. More details Here.

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Message 5 of 6
by: k89bpa
on: 05/12/2018 | 19:33
I definitely agree with you on the proposals for making companies and government agencies/departments, (including NHS departments), identify themselves when they call you @thunderdragon.

That is something that I have long thought makes a lot of sense and the fact that so many don't used to be incredibly frustrating to me until I decided to adopt a "**bleep** you!", attitude to people wanting to contact me without a valid caller ID.

I always advise companies who ask for my number that they'll only ever be able to use it for identification unless they show their main number, (or the number they expect me to call to contact them), as their caller ID.

Likewise because of my mail filtering I always advise them that they must include my name in their emails to me, otherwise I'll never see them.

It's my little way of trying to push the change we'd all probably like to see.

On the question of your number being divulged and receiving unwelcome calls I think that the current way is good enough.

The method is to report to the mobile company, report to the police and get a crime reference number, get a free number change whilst the calls become a criminal matter and the police take appropriate action, (hopefully).

I know it's a hassle changing number so it's not ideal, but by the same token, do not disturb on handsets and inclusive blocking can stop these types of calls being a hassle to ones daily life without the hassle of changing numbers.

Definitely with you on insisting non-private bodies and individuals should be made to display a valid caller ID, (I do think it should be numerical though, not alphanumeric, purely because alphanumeric is more difficult to block locally thanks to phones typical software).
Huawei P20 Pro | 9.0.0 | Data Plan: 180GB
For the meaning behind the codes in my posts search the code GGK-0228-2309
Message 6 of 6