BWI praised for hiring disabled workersThe writer is...


December 16, 1997

BWI praised for hiring disabled workers

The writer is president of the Market Center Association. The continuing erosion of personal privacy continues -- mostly in the name of profitability. Recently, like all Maryland customers Bell Atlantic, I received a mailing announcing CALL54, a reverse directory assistance service which the company is requesting permission to offer in 1998.

The questionable usefulness of this service for residential listing is apparent. Why would I need to call the telephone company to get the address of a friend? Why not just call the friend? On the other hand, if I plan to stalk an ex-spouse or harass someone or simply build a mailing list for intrusive marketing efforts, then I might find the reverse directory quite useful.

Of course, Bell Atlantic will counter any protest by pointing out that all customers have the option of blocking their address by calling a toll-free number. As a consumer, I am getting very tired ++ of keeping track of the mounting numbers of so-called services that I must request to be excluded from.

In addition, elderly people are already the targets of the unscrupulous. Wouldn't such a service make them more vulnerable? How about doing things the right way: protect the privacy of the person paying for phone service and let him choose his options?

I am suspicious. I can just envision a marketing meeting in which someone said, "By that time, most people will have forgotten all about this."

arole Y. Lyles


Pub Date: 12/16/97

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