Directory listing service JustDial has launched JustDial Data, a website that allows businesses to buy leads. This is a particularly interesting launch, since replicates a B2B yellow pages model on the web for JustDial, but appears to target only businesses. Where it becomes more functional than the regular directory listings business is that it allows users to download segmented data in a usable CSV (comma separated variables) format, which can then be imported into databases.

This could be of use to telemarketers, or just to those targeting businesses. The online and telephone based search business cannot provide data in such a usable format to businesses, and businesses would otherwise have to manually note down that data, or scrape it. JustDial charges Rs 10 per lead for this business, but do note that not all the data is really usable, as you can tell from the third screenshot below.

This also explains why I’ve been getting a call a week from JustDial on my office landline, wanting to verify business details for MediaNama. So JustDial is trying to improve its database, but I’ve never been informed on the phone that the data will be sold. This is apart from the fact that I don’t remember ever giving JustDial any details related to MediaNama as a business; where did they get our details from? I don’t verify any info, so they keep calling back.

Where this becomes  even more tricky for JustDial is that the same page also has a ‘Consumer Leads’ section which is currently not live, but “Coming Soon”. While we’re not sure of what shape and form consumer leads will be made available in, it is worrying when JustDial starts selling a consumer database. The company, historically, has shared consumer information with vendors without taking explicit permission – I remember an instance where I was searching for a hotel/guest house in Qutab (Delhi) for a friend and called up JustDial. They sent me the details, but I also got calls back from vendors, so clearly, my details had been shared with them without my permission. Like I said, the consumer play will be tricky for the company, although, India doesn’t have a privacy law in place.

Terms & Conditions

The problem with making data available in a CSV format, is that it can easily be ported and shared. JustDial’s terms and conditions explicitly prohibit reselling of data, and “from using or permitting the use of the information for the purpose of compiling, enhancing, verifying, supplementing, adding to, or deleting from any mailing list, business directory, or other compilation of information that is sold, rented, published or furnished in any manner to a third party”, “(a) using or permitting the use of the information to prepare an original database or a comparison to other databases that are sold, rented, published, or furnished in any manner to a third party; (b) using or permitting the use of the information for the purpose of compiling, enhancing, verifying, supplementing, adding to, or deleting from any mailing list, business directory, or other compilation of information that is sold, rented, published or furnished in any manner to a third party; or (c) using or permitting the use of the information in connection with any individual credit, employment or insurance decisions.”