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A Potentially Dangerous Phone Book Error

July 4, 1989

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Telecom Australia said today that it had accidentally included dozens of unlisted numbers in the 1989 Melbourne Phone Book. It said the error could endanger some subscribers.

An unknown number of such numbers and the addresses of those subscribers were included in the directory, Telecom White Pages manager Kevin Brennan said.

He expressed concern for people who, following marriage breakups and domestic troubles, did not want their numbers and addresses published.

Telecom will consider offering certain individuals security protection if their cases warrant it, he said.

″We knew there was a problem in April, but printing had already begun and we had no way of identifying those affected,″ Brennan said. ″The mistake occured when information was transferred from an old data base.

″The publication of the phone numbers can be easily rectified by simply giving subscribers a new number, but unfortunately the release of addresses is a problem.″

Victorian state Police Association spokesman Brian Harding said the matter was of great concern to his members:

″We take violent exception to it and will be complaining vociferously ... People performing public duties and in particular the police, are vulnerable to people with vindictive dispositions.″

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