Caller ID does not infringe upon a caller’s right to privacy. Instead it gives the call recipient a chance to preserve a right to privacy in his own home.
The proposed program is sponsored by Illinois Bell and would cost a subscriber $6.50 per month, plus at least $40 for a hand sized receiver that displays the phone number of incoming calls.
The Caller ID service is before the Illinois Commerce Commission, which will decide if the program is beneficial for Illinois residents.
Although the proposed system does not come cheap, it provides individuals with the opportunity to screen calls and protect themselves against harrassing or unwanted callers.
Some against the program claim Caller ID puts people who need to protect their identity in jeopardy – such as battered wives who need to call their former spouse.
But this logic does not hold the line. Anyone who needs to protect their identity or whereabouts from the person they are callong for safety’s sake can easily dial from another line, like a public pay phone near a police station.
The benefits of Caller ID are clear cut. Spokesman for the phone company and police officials agree that the number of harrassing and obscene phone calls can virtually be eliminated from homes with the service.
Anyone who receives a harrassing call can save the phone number in the machine and bring it directly to the police station. Ulitimately, this can save the taxpayers money in wasted policeman hours investigating harrassing phone calls if the proof is right in their hands.
Caller ID gives the vulnerable person at the receiving end a chance to protect themselves from unwanted intruders over the phone lines. And if you don’t want that protection, you don’t have to buy it.
The Northern Star –