The Harvard Centrex telephone system now allows faculty and administration ISDN display data phones with "495" prefixes to identify the numbers of incoming University calls. Students, however, cannot block the identification of their telephone numbers by these phones, according to an HSTO engineer.
The caller ID option on administration phones raises a number of questions related to student privacy. Phone companies offering caller ID in other states allow people making telephone calls to hide their numbers.
"This is an invasion of student privacy," says Carey W. Gabay '94, president of the Undergraduate Council. Gabay says the council's student affairs commitee may examine the issue.
Former Civil Liberties Union of Harvard (CLUH) Director Jol A. Silversmith '94 says that "it is very problematic that Harvard has not informed students that caller ID is in use. If you have chosen to call someone, you are revealing your identity, and if you don't know they have caller ID, they are violating your privacy."
"There isn't any question that there is something wrong," Silversmith says.