by paul-2279dd12 Investigator
Investigator

Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

I recently discovered that EE shares my MSISDN (phone number) with particular websites when browsing on mobile data.

 

On Tuesday I was mysteriously subscribed up to a premium rate subscription service called 'PAYOGame' by a company called AKMobile in Azerbaijan:

 

Organization: AKMobile LLC
Street: Khojali Avenue, Baku, Azerbaijan
City: Baku
State/Province: Baku
Postal Code: AZ1025
Country: AZ

 

It seems I was subscribed simply by accidentally clicking an advertising link on a website - I did not send an SMS or give any other kind of authorization.

 

On subsequent investigation I've found that PAYOGame uses a service called Payguru to discover my MSISDN from EE.

 

It's my understanding that EE specifically and deliberately leaks my MSISDN to Payguru by injecting an HTTP header into some of my outgoing web requests. I understand this is called 'header enrichment' and is enabled on the transparent web proxies you route my traffic through.

 

I find it surprising and unethical that you would leak my MSISDN to websites.

 

Why do you do this?

 

Which other websites do you leak my MSISDN to?

 

When did I give permission for you to share my Personally Identifiable Information like this?

 

 

30 REPLIES 30
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

@paul-2279dd12   Use THIS to see if your device is allowing your information to be sent out via the network from the device.   If it’s green then it’s all good and EE are not  transmitting your information from your device via the network. 

by paul-2279dd12 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

Thanks for the reply, Chris.

 

I have used that site already as well as inspecting headers sent to my own servers

 

If it’s green then it’s all good and EE are not transmitting your information from your device via the network.

No, not if they’re doing selective header enrichment, in which case the test site would not be receiving those headers.

 

This is why in my question I asked which sites they are doing this for.

 

It definitely appears to be the case that EE transmitted my MSISDN to PlayOGame / Payguru.

 

If there is another explanation of how this works I am all ears!

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

@paul-2279dd12   EE are not allowed to transmit your information not even too selected sites as that would be a breach of the data privacy act.   If EE was doing this then the fine that would come from this would be in the millions.  

by paul-2279dd12 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

Perhaps someone from EE could explain how this web page is able to sign you up for a premium rate SMS service just by clicking a link?

 

http://playogame.center

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

@paul-2279dd12  I’ve just used the link you’ve provided and I got this 

58F89D7A-DA07-4EAB-8893-3629169D89E8.png

 

 

 

I’ve not clicked anything after this page loaded up except the privacy policy and that shows this.  

A9BE7E11-1DDB-455A-9035-535C667443CF.jpeg

 

 

 

I see that they even say that they get your number via the MSISDN.    

 

Im not concerned I’ve gone to the site because I’ve blocked third-party billing on my account but if I do end up being billed because of this I know that I’ve not subscribed to the service as I’ve not clicked anything on the opening page except the PP link.     What I have done already is pass this to someone on here and now I’m going to push to find out what the heck this is all about as EE are not allowed to give my number to any site that I visit unless I enter my number myself.    

 

@Leanne_T @James_B @Richard_C @Lee_H @Christopher_G@TiffJ @Miles @Karen_C @Jon_B 

 

  Can all of you please note this as I only visited the site and I’ve not clicked anything to subscribe me to any service. If this site now has my number then EE are allowing my number to be transferred to this site just via the data connection to this site.  

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

Oh and to add if you use a wifi connection you get this page 

9848D959-1420-40B5-A5BA-0D564A5F7E7B.png

 

 

 

 

by paul-2279dd12 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

Thanks for taking the time to check this out, Chris.

 

Yep, exactly.

 

Looking forward to a response.

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

@Chris_B, I got the same as you, but could not check on Wifi, as my Broadband is down at present, so hope the same as you, no costs occur!

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

@Schockwave   I’ve blocked this sort of billing from my account with customer services and I sent the text ( BAR to 150 ) so if I do get charged im going love the call to customer services.  

 

This site is clearly admitting how I gets numbers and EE are not allowed to allow than access to my/your number just via a connection to the site.     

 

 

by Haydon-Berrow Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?


@Chris_B wrote:

@Schockwave   I’ve blocked this sort of billing from my account with customer services and I sent the text ( BAR to 150 ) so if I do get charged im going love the call to customer services. 

Can you explain the "BAR to 150" please? It's not in the list of short-codes in http://ee.co.uk/help/accounts-billing-and-topping-up/sign-up-and-manage-your-account/my-ee-account-h... or http://ee.co.uk/help/accounts-billing-and-topping-up/pay-as-you-go-top-ups/text-services-pay-as-you-...

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

@Haydon-Berrow   Th text BAR to 150 stops you from being charged via 3rd party’s on your account.   You can call customer services to do this also. 

 

This is the reply you get back when you text BAR

7C9ECA8E-F8CA-411D-A52E-649BC19221D3.png

 

 

 

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

Hi @Chris_B @paul-2279dd12 @Haydon-Berrow

 

We're looking into this and should get an answer early next week.

 

We'll give you an answer once we hear back.


Thanks

 

Chris

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

@Christopher_G   Thanks.   My concern is that this site and I’m sure that there are others is that they are freely saying that they can take your number from the data connection.  So you don’t even need to actually subscribe.   As you can see in my first image at the top of that image it says to unsubscribe.  I’ve not subscribed as I only only opened the link provided by @paul-2279dd12     This as far as I can tell if the first real proof that this is actually happening and it needs looking at and fixing ASAP.  

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

We chased this up yesterday, @Chris_B.

 

I'll do so again today.

 

As soon as we have anything we will post here.

 

Thanks for your patience.

 

Chris

by Profile closed
Not applicable

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

EE / Google are also injecting premium rate text ads into the iOS YouTube app now as well...

 

Notice the difference betwen using the app and watching the same YouTube clip on cellular and on WiFi:

 

WiFi:

 

IMG_0034.png

 

Cellular (with the added premium rate text ad):

IMG_0033.png

 

 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

@paul-2279dd12 @Christopher_G  So I’ve not been charged for going to this site as I’ve just had my bill. But I’ll still like to know what EE make of this site that says it’ll get your number via the MSISDN.  

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

Hi @Chris_B

 

As soon as we have anything we will post here.

 

Thank you for your patience on this.

 

Cheers

 

Richard

 

🙂

by paul-2279dd12 Investigator
Investigator

Re: Why do you leak my phone number to websites when browsing on mobile data?

Thanks, looking forward to hearing.

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