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November 17, 2022

Soon, the name of an unknown caller will appear on mobile devices

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Compliance Law

Soon, the name of an unknown caller will appear on mobile devices

When a user receives a call, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will shortly start taking steps to ensure that the caller’s name shows on the phone screen. The name would be in accordance with the subscribers’ “know your customer” (KYC) records that are kept on file by telecom companies.

When the policy is put into place, callers’ names will be made known to subscribers even if they haven’t saved them in their phone books. At the moment, apps like Truecaller help some users determine who a mysterious caller is. However, the drawback with apps similar to Truecaller is that because the data is crowdsourced, 100% authenticity cannot be guaranteed, whereas it can with KYC data.

With the use of the KYC data, the authorities will be able to determine if the service providers followed the procedure exactly or took short cuts that made it possible for a caller’s identity to be faked.

Later, a different test along similar lines would be performed for calls made using WhatsApp. The messaging service connects to SIM cards, thus a user’s phone number is connected to a WhatsApp account. Given that WhatsApp calls can also be placed from desktops, a different exercise is still necessary. The connection between a SIM card and a WhatsApp account is severed in such circumstances.

According to sources and the media report  telecom regulator disregarded certain groups’ concerns that revealing the caller’s name without the user’s agreement would constitute a privacy infringement. However, it is anticipated that the issue will be covered in detail during the consultation process.

An additional benefit of the technique that displays the caller’s KYC name on the screen is that spam and unwanted calls can be avoided or reported to the appropriate authority to take the appropriate action.

Trai has so far been unable to effectively stop telemarketer calls despite taking a number of steps.

The Department of Telecommunications, which would make the final judgement in the case, would receive Trai’s recommendations following the consultation process. The DoT, Trai, and telecom carriers would all be required to participate in the implementation of the measures, according to a source.

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