Yesterday PC Pro a story about how system administrator Lewis Peckover had discovered that O2 were transmitting customer’s mobile number when you visited a web page. Lewis even produced a web page where you could if your phone was doing this. However, by the afternoon O2 appeared to have back-peddled quickly and removed this functionality, as my phone was not displaying any information.
Why would O2 be doing this in the first place? Well, they’ve since given a few reasons but the most important, as far as I’m concerned, is so that their website can identify you. Unlike other networks who make it difficult for you to find your remaining balances, O2 give you a useful web link to visit – it reads your phone number from the web page header and then displays the information.
Sadly, now they’ve removed the phone number transmission, that site no longer works (see screenshot from my phone). Boo. Of course, I equally don’t want my phone number spread about the internet – would it have been too much to ask to have O2 encrypt it?