TRAI Consider norms for strengthening caller identification

TRAI devises a mechanism to strengthen the caller’s identity

New Delhi:

Telecommunications Sector Regulator India’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRAI) will soon begin consulting on setting up a mechanism to name the caller’s know your customer (KYC) to flash on phone screens when someone calls, according to a top official.

TRAI has received a referral to start consulting on it from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The consultation on this is expected to start in a few months, TRAI chairman PD Vaghela said.

“We have just received a referral, and we will start working on it soon. Name as per KYC will appear when someone calls,” Mr Vaghela said.

TRAI has already thought of similar lines, but now with the specific reference of the telecommunications department, it will start soon.

“The mechanism will allow names to appear on a phone screen, in line with KYC conducted by telecommunications companies, according to DoT standards,” Mr Vaghela added.

The move takes on significance as the mechanism will help identify callers according to their KYC (Know Your Customer) and bring greater accuracy and transparency than some applications that identify callers based on crowdsourcing data.

Sources said that once the framework for KYC-based new mechanism has been worked out, the identity determination will become clearer and legally tenable. It will also have a ripple effect, leading to a clearing of data on crowdsourcing applications, as there will be KYC links.

Asked whether the process would be held voluntarily, sources said it was too early to discuss the modalities as many aspects would come up in the consultation stage.

TRAI has also implemented blockchain technology to address the problem of unsolicited commercial communications (UCC) or spam calls and messages.

Experts say a KYC-based caller identification mechanism will protect users from increasing cases of spam calls and fraud.

Meanwhile, in an email statement, the caller identification app Truecaller’s spokesman said: “We welcome any and all actions in the mission to make communication secure and efficient. Number identification is essential to the threat of spam and scam calls “and we, at Truecaller, have been working tirelessly on this important mission for the past 13 years. We appreciate this step by TRAI and would like to reiterate that we remain very supportive of this and any future initiatives they have.”

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