The latest such manifestation of this phenomenon is the website 192.com.
While the number '192' conjures up images of the telephone number one used to call in order to find out the mislaid telephone numbers of their friends, 192.com is a whole different kettle of fish.
The website prides itself on its ability to "tell you more about people, businesses & places in the UK than any other directory". Indeed, aside from finding out telephone numbers, one can also (for a fee) access the individual credit risk reports of company directors, read court judgements and trawl the electoral roll to find people's home addresses.
Do take the time to look at the website and see if your personal information is being made publicly available on this website.
Rather helpfully, 192.com has produced a guide as to how to have your details removed from the database. Click here to view it.
By Daniel Hamilton.