AOL retracts plan to sell subscriber numbers

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America Online retracted its plan to sell members' telephone numbers to direct marketers, after the plan was criticized by groups such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center. AOL, which was planning to sell subscribers' numbers to certain of its direct marketing partners, issued a statement July 24, saying, "To be clear, we never intended to make our members' telephone numbers available for rental to telemarketers. The only calls we intended for you to receive would have been from AOL and a limited numbers of quality-controlled AOL partners." The statement added that, upon further reflection, AOL had decided to change the plan. Now, members will only receive calls from AOL.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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