Communiqué de presse

Implementation of universal directories and universal directory services Subscribers and users of telecommunications services (including mobile telephony) will soon be able to include personal data in directory lists

Paris, 13 June 2005


Universal directory: application texts have been published



The decree establishing the regulatory framework for the implementation of universal directory services and universal directory inquiry services was published in the Journal Officiel of 27 May 2005.


The text establishes the following:


  • If they wish so, mobile telephony users (both subscribers and prepaid card users) can now ask their operator to include their personal data in the directory lists sent to directory publishers and directory service providers.


  • Also, fixed telephony users who had not yet the opportunity to include their personal data in the directory lists (such as subscribers using a 087 number) will receive a notice from their operator, giving them six months to refuse to have their personal data included in these lists, or to modify those data.


This regulatory framework aims at enriching and diversifying directories and directory service offers (residential and professional directories, reverse enquiries, call forwarding - filtered or not, etc.), as well as to develop new services (advanced searches, access to detailed information, etc.).


To ease the launch of those new services, ARCEP published guidelines in December 2004 regarding the technical and financial conditions for the transfer of subscriber lists between operators and directory service providers, following work done in collaboration with operators, directory editors and publishers, directory service providers and consumer associations.



Initial registrations could be made in four months



During this collaborative work, operators stated that a period four months from the publication of the decree was needed to provide initial lists.


Therefore, within this four months period, ARCEP invites operators:

  • to provide subscribers with the information stipulated in article R.10 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code

  • to receive subscribers’ consents and choices regarding the inclusion of their personal data in the directory lists ;

  • to make the lists available to directory publishers and directory service providers.



What is the universal directory?



The implementation of the universal directory (whether printed or electronic) and directory services is covered by the law of 26 July 1996. The objective is to allow consumers to have access to a directory which includes all fixed and mobile telephony subscribers, while protecting their personal rights.


In addition to the France Telecom fixed telephone numbers, as previously, the directory lists which can be consulted with these services do include:

  • the personal address of the subscribers or users of mobiles, as well as of subscribers or users of the fixed telephone services of an operator other than the incumbent (local loop, unbundling or voice over broadband operators)

  • professional numbers

  • numbers of on-line services (such as numbers beginning with 3 or 08)


These directory services may be offered by France Telecom or other companies, whether local loop operators, telephone service operators, or others.


      => 1/ Consumer rights



The new legislative framework allows all subscribers (physical or legal person) of public telephone services (fixed or mobile) to inform their operator of whether they wish their telephone and personal information to be published in the directory list. This list is then sent by the operator to any publisher producing a printed or electronic directory or providing directory services. The publisher must then respect the subscribers’ publication instructions.


Subscribers have the right:

  • not to appear in this list

  • to assign to their number a different user than themselves (with this person’s approval)

  • to have their first name or address hidden in the list, whenever possible

  • to have an e-mail address of their choice added to the list

  • to forbid usage of their data for commercial purposes

  • to forbid enquiries about their personal data based on their telephone number


      => 2/ The obligations of directory publishers and directory services providers



Directory publishers and directory service providers using these lists are required to respect the choices made by subscribers and users, and to process all data contained in these lists in a homogenous and non-discriminatory manner. They must keep their lists up to date with operators and cannot reveal the names of the operators used by any given subscriber in their directories or services.


      => 3/ The obligations of operators



Operators assigning a number of the national numbering plan to a subscriber are required to provide their lists to publishers and to keep them up to date in order to ensure that the personal data they contain matches the most recent choices made by subscribers and users. They are required to inform their subscribers of their rights, and to ensure subscribers have the opportunity to exercise these rights.