Lebanon Directory and Licence Plate lookup released as an iPhone App

03Nov10

For Immediate Release:

4 hours ago, two new applications have been released to the App Store. Lebanon Directory and Lebanese Car Plate Directory are applications that are the epitome of privacy breaches.

The Ministry of Interior exclusively controls data regarding license plate numbers, while the Ministry of Telecommunications is responsible for data regarding phone numbers. When such information once held only by the Government and GSM Carriers such as Alpha and MTC Touch, such information is now released to the public. Makes you wonder how such information got published, and you can have access to it by a mere 6.99$ on iTunes.

Anyone using this application, could just type in any Lebanese 8 digit phone number and find out the name of the person who owns the number and their home address.

This should cause concern about privacy protection at every level, it targets the Lebanese people, and their information has become wide public.

Enter any car plate number and select its proper symbol to get its information,”

You’ll get back the car owners home address, their marital status, their spouse name (if available) and their car’s make, model and year.

Terrifying – Makes you wonder how that information got leaked?

Double U, the company behind the apps, holds all the information of the Lebanese people. The release of these databases to a third party is against the law, said Dr. Toni Issa, lawyer and president of the IT Committee for the Beyrouth Bar Association.

There is no way to obtain this information, especially that of the car plate directory, unless if someone from inside this administration copied the database containing the information,” Issa said.

This blog expects a response and explanation from the Lebanese Government.

Update (Nov 17): Apple has refused to remove these applications from the App Store.  It’s believed that this data is queried from databases stolen from the Lebanese Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Telecommunications and have been circulating on the Internet since at least 2007.

There is also a Facebook application called Lebtel, which passes itself as a “Lebanese reverse lookup directory” and seems to be using the same data.

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