The RSGB has written to Ofcom raising concern at the release, in full, of the detailed amateur radio database on their web site. This, Ofcom says, follows a number of requests from radio amateurs for the details to be released under the Freedom of Information Act. After consultation with the Information Commissioners office, the RSGB has learned that Ofcom could be in breach of the Data Protection Act in releasing these personal details, which include the name and address of each individual radio amateur in electronic form, on their website and hence to the wider community. The RSGB’s main concern is the security of the details, which can now be downloaded by any individual, radio amateur or not.
At first I thought ‘what is the fuss about?’ after all we have had the callbook and QRZ around for years, but I downloaded it from http://www.qsl.net/g3zhi/cb1.html and realised that before now we could not do a reverse look up. I now know who most of those antennas in the surrounding streets belong to but I still haven’t heard their owners on the air in over twenty years. My worry is that it will lead to more amateurs listed as details withheld and if you do that I will probably not work you unless I already know you. As far as I can see listing yourself as ‘details withheld’ is simply asking to have you call sign borrowed by pirates. I know why people do it but it always makes me wonder what they have to hide.