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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Default Can the Police Give My Phone Number to a Stranger

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: California.

    A few days ago I get a voice mail from the police department saying that there is an officer by my car who wants to speak to me. I heard this voice mail late, and once I got Tommy car there was no one there. One day after it I get a text from someone who claims that i bumped into his car when parking, but he is not gonna do anything about it. I never bumped into any cars, so I was confused and asked him what made him think that I did it.

    He said something about seeing my car parked less than an inch from his car and that I had black color on one of my incense plate screws(which I checked and it is NOT true). So long story short this person was convinced that I bumped into his car(even though there is 0 evidence of that), he called the police, the police came and somehow ran my vehicle number in their system, found my phone number somehow, tried to call me and eventually gave my number to the guy claimed I hit his car in case he will need it for "insurance purposes".

    Does that sound legitimate?? Can the police give my personal details to a complete stranger claims I bumped into his car even though that there's absolutely no evidence to back up his claim?? What if this guy was a stalker or some kind of sick person or something who was trying to get to me? I think this is a severe invasion of privacy. Please let me know what do you guys think
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Can the Police Give My Phone Number to a Stranger

    Quote Quoting Dp1987
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    My question involves police conduct in the State of: california
    Ok so the story is the following: a few days ago I get a voice mail from the police department saying that there is an officer by my car who wants to speak to me. I heard this voice mail late, and once I got Tommy car there was no one there.
    How did the officer get your phone number? Did you have prior contacts with the police? There's no magical database that is readily available to patrol officers to allow them access to phone numbers - particularly cell phone numbers. Though, if you have a significant enough web presences, it is possible they got it online.

    Can the police give my personal details to a complete stranger claims I bumped into his car even though that there's absolutely no evidence to back up his claim?? What if this guy was a stalker or some kind of sick person or something who was trying to get to me? I think this is a severe invasion of privacy. Please let me know what do you guys think
    Thanks
    In general, your phone number is not considered private, identifying information. While there is nothing specifically permitting the police to provide your phone number if they have it, there is nothing specifically prohibiting it, either. However, you do not know how the police got the humber, and if it was through the same public info they might have used to find it, then the caller could have done so as well.

    ou can always call the employing agency to complain should you choose.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    4

    Default Re: Can the Police Give My Phone Number to a Stranger

    Thanks for your response
    So let me get it straight. Someone claiming I hit his car with no supportive evidence
    Is enough for the police to run a search on my car's plate, and then give the details they found to a complete stranger?

    And I might have a guess how they found my number
    About a year ago I went to the same station with a friend of mine who needed someone local to present his Id and details in order to release his car from impound
    So they probably crossed this information they have and got my number

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Can the Police Give My Phone Number to a Stranger

    Quote Quoting Dp1987
    View Post
    Thanks for your response
    So let me get it straight. Someone claiming I hit his car with no supportive evidence
    Is enough for the police to run a search on my car's plate, and then give the details they found to a complete strange
    To run your plate and information? Sure! To provide your phone number to the other party? That's unclear, since there is no specific prohibition against it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,901

    Default Re: Can the Police Give My Phone Number to a Stranger

    Magical database? I don't know about magic, but there are subscription databases that I have access to that gives more information on cell subscribers beyond your normal "directory" lookup which doesn't tyically list cells.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Can the Police Give My Phone Number to a Stranger

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    Magical database? I don't know about magic, but there are subscription databases that I have access to that gives more information on cell subscribers beyond your normal "directory" lookup which doesn't tyically list cells.
    The subscription databases available to investigators are not available to typical patrol officers. These subscription services cost money and are not generally accessible by patrol. There is a common misconception by many in the general public (promulgated by TV) that the police can run a name and come up with names, numbers, associates, etc., and this is simply NOT so. At least, not as easily as they do it on many TV shows.

    But, the OP answered the question since he had prior contact with the agency, so that's most likely how they had his number.

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