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The Fuss Over Telephone Caller ID

August 16, 1992

I find the argument of "caller ID" opponents to be both ironic and hypocritical, "Pac Bell May Hang Up on Caller ID" (July 14). The reason these people wish to keep their unlisted numbers private is to avoid unsolicited phone calls.

But while objecting to such intrusions into their own privacy, they perversely insist upon the "right" to make unsolicited, anonymous intrusions into the privacy of others.

The greater protection should be extended to the passive party, not the one initiating the intrusion.

There's a simple solution which addresses the concerns of both sides. The caller ID display feature should be bundled with a call-rejection feature which permits the subscriber to disallow ringing of the subscriber's phone if the incoming call is anonymous.

A caller from a "private" (blocked) phone would receive a recorded intercept message saying that the caller must hang up, deactivate ID blocking, and redial if he wants to complete the call.

Thus if would-be callers refuse to identify themselves, I do not have to take the call.

CARROLL S. SLEMAKER, Lake Forest

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