The main Norwegian provider of online phone search, Eniro,  published birth dates for all phone owners.  Unless you have a secret phone, your birth date is now online and available.  Eniro claims to have done this in order to make it easier to distinguish search results.

Searching for Ingrid Melve

Searching for Ingrid Melve

One example is the search result from my name, as shown in the picture.  I suppose the birth date is displayed in the same box with the Send flowers-button for ease of use, that is nice.  Less nice are the ads, since I suppose that the advertisements suggest good presents for me: Bigger boobs, heat exchanger, flat screen TV, teeth bleaching, Sony Playstation 3.   I much prefer the PS3 of those suggestions, as I find the other suggestions gross and rude and too personal.

I do not see how knowing the birth date helps me distinguish between search results.  Knowing the birth year might help, since I could map what I know about the person to the search result.  Knowing what date the person is born gives me no new information.  Know birth dates for family and friends is nice, but that is all about maintaining social relations.  Searching for phone numbers is not my preferred social relation investment.  In this case the service seems displaced in the social fabric.

Reactions have been surprisingly strong, probably because this is perceived as rudeness incorporated.  The Data Protection Agency have the phone ringing off the hook, but according to the current rules publishing birth dates is within the regulations.  Once again the difference between legally right and morally right is displayed in public.