Now Telesign wants to leverage the data — and billions of phone numbers — it sees deals with daily to provide a new service: a PhoneID Score, a reputation-based score for every number in the world that looks at the metadata Telesign has on those numbers to weed out the burner phones from the high-quality ones. Yes, there’s yet another company out there with an inscrutable system making decisions about you that will effect the kinds of services you’re offered.
Because privacy is apparently only for Silicon Valley CEOs….and that’s the way Americans want it?
I asked the company to score me and a few of my colleagues to get a sense of how this will work. The range is 0 to 1000, with 0 being a gold iPhone and 1000 being a burner phone that’s only used to order drugs and kill people. Luckily, none of us got that latter score. My office landline scored a 100. Two of us got 10s for our mobiles, and two others got a 200. I also got to see where all of the numbers had been registered and who provided their service.
These are all high quality scores, says Jillings, who explained that anything below 200 will tell a company to roll out the red carpet for you. He didn’t seem to think the differences in the scores mattered and could not explain what might account for the 10 – 200 range, though one of those 200-scored accounts is less than a year old. Between 400 and 600 would lead to a fuller review, and anything over 600 would be flagged as a potentially fraudulent or abusive account, and likely blocked from signing up for that service.
So now your social equivalent-of-credit-score will be tied to your phone number, and people can decide whether to do business with you based on whether you’re worth it.
How unfortunate that our nation is populated by people who will be too busy worrying about whether their score is good enough to actually be concerned with the basic quality-of-life issues they’ll be handing over.
Because today’s public school education does not cover what feudalism is, or how it starts.