August 30, 1996
Know How to Protect Your Privacy When You
Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania Launches Consumer Education
Campaign on Caller ID Privacy Issues
HARRISBURG, PA -
"http://www.bell-atl.com/ba-pa">Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania customers
detailed information on how they can protect their name and telephone
number from being revealed when they make phone calls. An insert in
their August phone bill describes privacy issues surrounding "http://www.bell-atl.com/customer/consumer/services/call/id.htm">Caller
Deluxe and how customers can use free blocking capabilities.
Customers who do not want their phone number and name revealed on a
Caller ID device have two alternatives - per call blocking or line
blocking. There is no charge for either service.
Line blocking, which is arranged through the local Bell Atlantic
business office, automatically keeps information from going to the
called party on all calls.
Per call blocking allows customers to decide on a call-by-call basis
when to block transmission of the name and number information to the
The consumer education campaign is the result of an agreement between
the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA), the Pennsylvania Coalition
Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), the Office of Trial Staff (OTS) and
Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania. The settlement, pending approval by the
Public Utility Commission (PUC), is the result of concerns regarding
privacy expressed by the PCADV and the state's consumer advocate last
summer when Bell Atlantic received approval from the PUC to offer
Caller ID Deluxe service.
Caller ID Deluxe, which became available in September, 1995, provides
customers with the telephone number of incoming calls as well as the
name associated with the phone number. The information appears on a
display unit attached to the phone.
Unless customers use one of the blocking options, their number and
name will be passed on to the called party. Customers with private
telephone numbers or non-listed service also must use blocking to
prevent display of their phone number and name.
The bill insert describes how to use blocking and includes a sticker,
which can be attached to the telephone, which explains how to use per
call blocking (*67 or 1167 for rotary or pulse dialing telephones).
Also included are toll-free telephone numbers to get information on
blocking and to test line blocking.
The Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania bill insert also includes information
about a new enhancement to Return Call (*69 or 1169) which allows
customers to return the last incoming call. This enhancement, planned
for late 1996, will enable customers who use Return Call to hear an
announcement of the telephone number of the caller before returning
the call. Customers who want to prevent their telephone number from
being announced can use the same blocking method (*67 or 1167) and the
number will remain private. Initially, even though the name and
number information is blocked, Return Call can still return the call.
However, by Jan. 1, 1997, Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania also will
prevent the completion of calls using Return Call to customers who use
Additional educational efforts will include a new section on privacy
in Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania phone books and a program targeted at
professionals who work with groups with privacy concerns.
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:
BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.
- Sharon Shaffer (215) 963-6200