PHONE BOOK SEARCHES ON GOOGLE

Google has added a new service that will make you go, hmm.

Do a Google search for your home phone number. Type in the number like this: 707-xxx-xxxx.

If the number is listed in the phone book, you’ll instantly get back your name, your address, and links to maps that will helpfully display exactly where your house is.

Interesting, eh? On the one hand, that’s a powerful search tool, definitely one to add to the arsenal of ways to find information on the net.

And on the other hand, there’s some serious privacy implications. If you have a listing in the phone book you’re obviously not hidden, but it feels different for a map to your house to be quite this readily available. If your child gives out his or her phone number, the child’s residence is exposed in an unexpected way.

You can click on the telephone icon by the search results to remove yourself from Google’s phone book.

This is part of a new group of phone book services on Google. Here’s the Google summary:

”To find listings for a US business, type the business name into the Google search box, along with the city and state. Or type the business name and zip code. Entering the phone number with area code will also return a complete business listing.

“To find listings for a US residence, type any of the following combinations into the Google search box:

• first name (or first initial), last name, city (state is optional)

• first name (or first initial), last name, state

• first name (or first initial), last name, area code

• first name (or first initial), last name, zip code

• phone number, including area code

• last name, city, state

• last name, zip code

“If your query results in business and residential listings, both categories will be listed for your convenience.”