According to Scott, the site uses direct to voicemail technology and captures and plays back the first 10 seconds of the phone number’s outbound voicemail message — enough for the site’s user to know who the phone user is.
The website, which recently launched and is still in beta testing, has sparked concerned posts on Twitter and other social networking sites, asking if its cool or just plain creepy. And Internet users aren’t the only people expressing an opinion. On a recent edition of “The Today Show,” a safe-dating expert cited Spy Dialer as a tool for single women to check out their dates in advance and show host Matt Lauer commented, “Now you’re starting to creep me out a little bit!”
“The site is privacy sensitive,” says Scott. “People have a real and legitmate need to know who’s behind a cell phone number for a variety of reasons. Many people can’t afford to go to websites that sell this type of information. We offer them a free way to find out and protect their privacy at the same time.” He says the site also features safeguards to prevent abuse and has an opt-out option for anyone who wants their number blocked.
“Our goal is for Spy Dialer to give people information about unidentified cell numbers in a legal, free and privacy sensitive way. For published landlines, there’s free online directory assistance lookups. Until now, for cell phones, they really hasn’t been a true free cell search. Now there is.”
Scott added that his company also hopes to see the service adopted by cell phone companies as a feature that helps their customers avoid making unwanted calls. “Hey, if I have a missed call on my cell from a number I don’t recognize, I’m playing roulette with my time by calling it. It could be a salesman I don’t want to talk to or even a wrong number. It would be great to have a built in app on the phone that automatically spy dials the number and works like a free cell number search.”
Original Story: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Controversial-New-Website-Spies-on-Voicemail-2313318.