Legal Aid NSW waste of tax payer money

As many of you are aware, we deal with removal requests following a very simple process outlined on our contact page. All we asked is for an email from a personally identifiable email address and we’ll do the rest.

So when we got this email from Michael Walton of Legal Aid NSW, the first thing we did was check our records, as if Legal Aid is involved, surely a mistake was made on our end. Surely we overlooked an email, or a request was handled improperly, or some other mistake was made that would warrant a followup. Surely Legal Aid was acting in the best interests of the tax payers if they needed to bill hours on behalf of their client.

Dear Sir/Madam,


Legal Aid NSW acts for *removed* of *removed*. *removed* has a silent phone number *removed*.

We refer to your emails of 7 August 2015 and 10 August 2015.

Our client will not be disclosing any personal information to your company. Our client will not be writing to you using her personal email address.

You are in breach of the Australian Privacy Principles (APP), as set out in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

Our client’s silent phone number and other contact details were released by her telecommunications provider, Singtel Optus Pty Ltd, without our client’s consent.

APP 4.3 states that a company which holds unsolicited personal information must destroy the information if it would not have been able to collect the information under APP 3.

Our client denies that she would ever have authorised your company to collect and publish this information. Accordingly, our client demands that you remove all details, including name address and phone number, of our client from all of your databases and services.

If you will not comply with this demand, please provide a business address to which we can forward legal process.

Michael Walton | Solicitor | Civil Law Division | Legal Aid NSW

A: Endeavour House, Suite 2, 3-5 Stapleton Ave SUTHERLAND NSW 2232 | DX 4528 Sutherland
T: (02) 9521-3733 (switch) | F: (02) 9521-8933

We checked through our records, and sure enough there was no email from the individual and she had made no attempt to contact us. The email from Michael even states this.

So wait, surely the client didn’t have a personal email address or was incapable of writing an email herself? Not the case. This is from correspondence with a government department:

Our office received *removed* complaint from her personal email address.

As part of our investigation of her complaint, *removed* has also:

* completed and signed a Commonwealth statutory declaration
* provided a bank statement in her name.

So the client was capable of writing a personal email, and capable of providing scanned documents, but not willing to write to us. Failure to act on your own behalf does not constitute reasonable need to public assistance.

So why is this a big deal? Because Legal Aid NSW clearly states on their website that they do not deal with matters of privacy. When we questioned Michael Walton about this, he stated it was their choice to deal with the matter and that he didn’t have to explain himself. It is of public interest when tax payer money is wasted.


When we asked how they could possibly justify this waste of tax payer money, we got the following response:

Dear Mr Campbell

I understand you are seeking information from Legal Aid NSW about the type of legal assistance we provide to clients.

If you could set out your request for information in writing with your company’s ABN I will respond as soon as possible.

Kind regards


Aideen McGarrigle
A/Manager, Legal Policy Branch
Strategic Policy & Planning
Legal Aid NSW
ph: 9219 5701

So Michael, how do you justify this? Why are you wasting tax payer money? Your client is clearly capable and willing to write an email – she clearly does not need legal assistance to make contact with us. Why are you accepting cases you clearly shouldn’t be accepting? You have a responsibility to tax payers to use their money for matters that actually matter, not because someone wishes to be lazy. You are clearly in violation of Legal Aid NSW policy by even accepting this case.

So Michael, we are calling you out. Explain to us why you are wasting tax payer money and we’ll happily publish it here for you.

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Telstra and your privacy

Recently we’ve seen an increase in cases where Telstra/Sensis has been listing it’s silent line numbers in the White Pages. Telstra is attempting to shift blame for their mistake to 3rd parties. If Telstra has incorrectly listed your information, we encourage you to contact the ACMA and lodge a formal complaint.

We don’t list your private information with the knowledge that it is private. Telstra is the billion dollar corporation making this mistake. Please hold them accountable for their actions.

If you would like your details removed from Reverse Australia, all you need to do is follow the instructions on our contact page.

If you are trying to get your details removed from, please be aware we have no affiliation with this site. The owners details are as follows:

Andrew Nicol
Datametric Pty Ltd
42 River View Terrace, Mount Pleasant, WA 6153

Please note that address is owned by Andrew’s parents, James and Hazel.


Hi there,

My name is Fiona and I work with Telstra in Australia. We have had a customer come into my store with a complaint about her details being listed on White Pages despite having a private number. We have been able to have her details removed from there but this is an urgent matter with police related implications if not removed so I am wanting to know the process to have her service removed from your website as a priority. I can see from your contact page that the standard time can be over a week but this is really not acceptable under the current circumstances and could prove dangerous to the customer.

Please advise.


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Australian Residential Database February 2015 Update

We have just finished a major residential database update for February 2015, bringing our last update of the year. As always, this also represents a significant update to existing numbers. Here is what the latest update brings:

  • 64,534 new phone numbers
  • 18,276 new mobile numbers
  • 2,723,753 total mobile numbers
  • 16,144,816 total phone numbers

Happy reverse searching everyone!

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3 year old Google Play app suspended for updating interface?


Update: Google has reversed their decision, however provided no explanation or apology for the original suspension. The suspension also led to forced removal of the app from over a thousand phones and over a month setback on development time.

Our three year old Android app appears to have been suspended for updating it’s user interface, and increasing it’s transparency to users.

Back nearly three years ago we released Who Called Me for Android. At the time, our simple app would monitor your incoming calls and tell you if they were listed on Reverse Australia as being spam. Simple and effective.

At the time we didn’t put a lot of resources into development, so the app didn’t do much more than that. Fast forward to 2014, we decided to rewrite the app, partly to improve the interface, and partly to give it new features that would benefit the end user.

The biggest feature improvement was to screen calls as they were coming in, by showing an overlay on the call screen. So what did we do wrong?

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of section 4.3 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.

Please refer to the policy help article for more information.
We classify a user’s incoming and outgoing call and message history as private and confidential information. Apps which upload a user’s call or message history to a service without making this clear to the user and obtaining the user’s explicit consent are regarded as being in violation of section 4.3 of the DDA.

So what are we transmitting to our servers? Here is a log of one users session, with API keys, IP’s and numbers looked up blurred out:


As you can see, NO personal information is being unreasonably sent to our servers. The first call registers the user with our service so they can get an API key, and then the following requests do a spam lookup on the incoming numbers, so they can tell if they are spam. These API’s are even publicly documented here. An app called “Who Called Me” is obviously going to need to do searches on your incoming call and SMS information, how else would it function?

whocalledmetnc To add insult to injury, part of our on-boarding process was to ask permission to use your address book information for future spam detection. But the current builds don’t even make use of this requested extra permission. Google suspended our app for updating our interface and being more transparent to our users.

Our competitors, such as Mr Number, True Caller, Call Finder and Fetch That Number, all do the same thing as us, yet they are not banned. Fetch That Number and Call Finder even relies on our API to function.

Has Google stopped using engineers to investigate policy issues? Is common sense being outsourced?

For those interested, here was our app description, including permission breakdown:

Introducing Who Called Me 2.0 by Reverse Australia.

With over 250 million records in its database, Reverse Australia is the top reverse look-up service for mobile and land lines within Australia. Check out our website to get to know how we get the latest caller information from risky numbers through our crowd generated number database.

And now, with Who Called Me? 2.0, we’ve rewritten our android app to include new and enhanced features to protect our users from risky callers.

Caller ID
Get caller information every time you get a call from an unknown number and protect yourself from predators, telemarketers, and scam artists.

Block Call & SMS Notifications
Enable our auto-block feature and never be bothered by telemarketers and ads again!

SMS & Call Log Integration
We use our own algorithm to scan your call and sms logs for spam callers & messages

Contact Integration
With our enhanced contact integration, you will only get notifications from unknown numbers. Install the app and forget about it! But when that unknown caller comes, we’ll be there to keep you safe!

SMS & Call Log History
Target numbers individually and review message and call history in order to get the latest tricks from suspected scam artists. Messages stored in our app can be easily shown to the police. Protect not only yourself but also the people around you!

Are you a power user? Unknown callers are telemarketers 100% of the time? Don’t want calls from private numbers? Customize our app easily using Light, Moderate, or Strict settings. Change it to your liking, adjust security levels to your preferences and more!

So many permissions! What are they for?


Permissions Breakdown:

READ_PHONE_STATE – This lets us display caller information everytime an unknown number starts calling you

READ_CONTACTS – This lets us lookup your contacts in order to know if a calling number already exists in your contacts

READ_CALL_LOG – Using our own algorithm, we hunt down possible spam callers from your call log

MODIFY_PHONE_STATE – This lets us block phone calls

RECEIVE_SMS – This lets us read and detect incoming spam sms messages

READ_SMS – Using our own algorithm, we hunt down possible spam sms from your existing sms messages

INTERNET – This lets us connect to our servers in order for us to look up a caller’s spam risk score

ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE – This lets us check if internet is available on your device

CHECK_LICENSE – This lets us automatically register you in our servers, no need to login!

SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW – This lets us display an overlay screen everytime an unknown call arrives

ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION & ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION – These let us lookup your current location, letting us complete the required number from an incoming call. 564867 -> 0256487 if you’re in NSW

WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE – This lets us save spam calls and other information in your phone’s SD card

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Australia Residential Database October 2014 Update

We have just finished a major residential database update for October 2014, bringing our last update of the year. As always, this also represents a significant update to existing numbers. Here is what the latest update brings:

  • 56,442 new phone numbers
  • 15,972 new mobile numbers
  • 2,705,477 total mobile numbers
  • 16,080,282 total phone numbers

Happy reverse searching everyone!

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Australia Residential Database July 2014 Update

We have just finished a major residential database update for July 2014, bringing our last update of the year. As always, this also represents a significant update to existing numbers. Here is what the latest update brings:

  • 113,280 new phone numbers
  • 30,225 new mobile numbers
  • 2,689,505 total mobile numbers
  • 16,023,840 total phone numbers

Happy reverse searching everyone!

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Australia’s Largest Skip Tracing Database

Detective Desk

For those in the skip tracing industry, database access can be the difference between a locate and a skip. A good database has a strong focus on both identifiable and contactable records. Full names, address, dates of birth, email addresses, license numbers, passports numbers, occupancy information, all make the difference between going through several pages of White Pages results for hours, versus instantly narrowing down your subject in seconds.

We launched Detective Desk to match our existing Reverse Australia database, which is highly focused on phone records, to our other private databases, which focus on consumer information. We combine the hundreds of millions of records we have, with advanced search features to turn hours of searching into mere seconds. Couple this with our skip tracing CRM and you have the largest and most advanced skip tracing database in the Australian market.

Here are just some of the features Detective Desk boasts:

  • Advanced name search
  • Skip tracing CRM
  • MateSpotter integration
  • Reverse address search
  • Reverse email search
  • Neighbour search
  • Reverse phone lookup
  • Couple matching
  • DOB matching
  • Postcode research
  • Validation tools
  • Staff usage monitoring
  • Group account self management
  • Record exporting
  • Result sorting
  • Result printing
  • Lead search suggestions
  • Mobile phone status
  • Credit card BIN checks
  • Field auto-completion
  • Free training
  • Full-text search
  • SMS integration
  • Case notes
  • Case export and report
  • Agent call recording
  • Social network integration
  • Day passes

So if you do skip tracing, come check us out and see what we can do for you.

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Australia Residential Database April and February 2014 Update

We have just finished a major residential database update for February 2014, and a minor residential update for April 2014, bringing our last update of the year. As always, this also represents a significant update to existing numbers. Here is what the latest update brings:

  • 111,600 new phone numbers
  • 62,079 new mobile numbers
  • 2,659,280 total mobile numbers
  • 15,910,560 total phone numbers

Happy reverse searching everyone!

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Australia Residential Database October 2013 Update

We are currently in the middle of a major residential database update for October 2013, bringing our last update of the year. As always, this also represents a significant update to existing numbers. Here is what the latest update brings:

  • 217,268 new phone numbers
  • 129,441 new mobile numbers
  • 2,597,201 total mobile numbers
  • 15,798,960 total phone numbers

Happy reverse searching everyone!

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Reverse Australia hits the 10,000 “Like” milestone!

Thanks everyone for supporting our service. If you think we can do something better, tell us!

We’re now up to 306 developer keys issued, 1,350 Android devices using our service, and we have 38,679 unique phone numbers in our caller complaint database!

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