I make frequent use of a database known as SMARTpages:
which is operated by SBC, one of the major telephone companies in the US.
What are the attributes?
SMARTpages is a national telephone book, and includes hundreds of
millions of listings across the country for both residential listings
(White Pages) as well as businesses (Yellow Pages).
SMARTpages has a number of attributes that make it far more powerful
and useful than print versions of the phone book, including:
--ability to search statewide or even nationally, rather than just one
city at a time.
--address look-ups: entering an address can lead to a name and phone
--reverse look-ups: entering a phone number can lead to a name and address listing
--categorical look-ups: multiple listings can be returned for, e.g. a
given category of businesses (dry cleaners), all businesses with the
same name (e.g. all Wal-Marts in the US), all residential listings on
the same street, or with the same surname, etc.
What is it used for?
As the attributes suggest, SMARTpages is very useful for looking up
individual or multiple name/address/phone listings for people or
What are the security ramifications?
The ease of finding a listing, along with the various 'look-up'
functions, make it far easier to locate a person or business anywhere
in the nation, if their information is included in the phone book.
This ease of use is a two-sided coin, however. On the one hand, it is
much simpler to locate family and friends then ever before. On the
other hand, the SMARTpages database can be a tool for unwanted
intrusions from marketing firms, nuisance calls, or even for people
with dangerous intentions, such as stalkers.
I trust this information fully answers your question.
However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need. If there's anything more I can do for you, just post a Request
for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.
search strategy -- use of bookmarked site for SMARTpages.