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That was the situation for land line phone numbers, which can be collected and published without the consent of their owners. On the other hand, any owner of a land line can inform his telephone carrier that he doesn't want to be listed in any public phone directories and his details will be removed within a month. If we talk about directories of cell phone numbers, the regulations are different than land lines. First, the most important rule is that you cannot publish cell phone numbers, so the idea of White Pages simply cannot work for cellular phone numbers.
The only way to create a reverse phone directory is to acquire consent of each and every owner of a cell phone that is to be listed in the directory. This seems extremely difficult, but it is not impossible. There are certain companies which collect such information from many sources. One very popular way of collecting personal data is to create a sweepstake or contest with very attractive prizes. Someone who enters a sweepstake or contest usually don't have to do anything more than enter their personal details such as first and last name, address, email address and cell phone number then wait to see if they win. If they don't, they usually forget about the sweepstake or contest, but the company behind it doesn't forget. Generally, entering a sweepstake or contest allows the company to resell and redistribute information as the condition to join the competition. This means that such information can go to a directory of cellular phone numbers.
If you find that your number has been listed in one of these, you always have the chance to opt out. You just need to figure out which company possesses your data and check their policy on opting out. Usually, you will have to send them a fax or e-mail with some pertinent details. After such action, the company will have about one month to remove your data from their databases.