How did Google get my cell number


I have been trying to distance myself from Google over the years. I joined Google AdSense in July 2003, made some decent money for a couple of years, a $1000 plus a month became a $100, then $10 with increased traffic. I stopped using AdSense a few years ago as well as Gmail.

Today I wanted to take another look at Google so logged on, low and behold checking their “Decide which privacy settings are right for you” they have my new cell number listed. It is a windows phone and the only place I have it listed is in my Microsoft account. How did they get it?

Comments (13)

13 responses to “How did Google get my cell number”

  1. 5514

    Do you know someone who uses GMail? Are you in their contacts? Google has your phone number.

    Sent an email to a GMail recipient with your phone number included? Google has your phone number.

    Google and Facebook maintain shadow accounts on everyone that their account holders communicate with. I would not be surprised if Microsoft does too. Welcome to 1984, where Big Brother is the ad-sales collective. On the internet, not only do they know you are a dog, they know your breed, and the last telephone pole you visited.

    • 5411

      In reply to AnOldAmigaUser:

      "Do you know someone who uses GMail? Are you in their contacts? Google has your phone number." Thats got to be it, most of my contacts have Google accounts. Creepy as shit, no matter how much one would like to distance them selves Google has it covered.

      • 442

        In reply to rortech:

        People need to realize this is nothing new.  And should not be creepy, as you give your phone number to a LOT of people, and usually don't give a single care about who they may share it with, and how.  There really is no such thing as anonymous any more.  Don't kid yourself.

  2. 266

    Did you link your Microsoft & Google Accounts at any time?

  3. 5411

    A little more digging "Google My Activity"

    Did you know that on the 12th of Dec 2013 I Watched Living with Elephants on youtube. Christ, and Paul wants us to switch to Android.

  4. 5615

    Were you doing this on your phone? It's not clear from your post. If you were, then there's your answer.

    OTOH, if it wasn't on your phone and the only place you truly have it listed is with Microsoft, then the first guess would be that somehow Microsoft gave it to them, either directly or indirectly. Given the direction Microsoft has gone more recently, that's probably more likely now than in the past.

    I would think, however, the more likely answer is that it's listed somewhere other than with Microsoft proper; perhaps, with some third party or someplace you're not aware of or have forgotten about. These days, if one person or place has your number, you should probably assume everyone has it. Or maybe in the past you typed it into a browser and it has been picked up that way, or you were logged in to your Microsoft account and it got snagged by the browser. Lots of ways it could happen.

  5. 5027

    Maybe they Googled it? :)   No, but more seriously, maybe you added the number as a restore for the gmail account, and just forgot all about it. Well that is, if you still have the same number that you did back in 2003.

    I used AdSense many years ago, and I do remember when I signed up they really really really wanted me to add my phone number so I could restore my account in case I lost my password, possible same happened to you and you forgot about it,, after all it  has been 13 years 

  6. 5530

    Do you use YouTube with a Google Account? Or the Play Store? Or Hangouts? You probably entered it at one of those places.

  7. 1043

    Depending on what browser you use, if you ever entered your cellphone number into a form it could have easily stored it. Chrome, for example, will store everything from contact info to credit cards. Google may simply be reading the number from local cache. They could have also simply purchased the info from any number of banks, stores, websites that sell marketing info. Even your cellphone provider may have been the one to sell them the info.