Unknown Callers’ Names Will Soon Appear On Mobile Devices Without Third-Party Apps, TRAI Says

TRAI notes that it is taking steps to make sure the name of the unknown caller displays on the screen whenever a user receives a call.

A new set of measures is expected to be set up by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) soon in order to ensure that the name of the unknown caller flashes on the screen whenever a user receives a call from someone. It should also be noted that the names would be displayed based on the Know Your Customer (KYC) records of the telecom operators.

Once this new step is implemented, a (call) receiver will be able to see a caller’s name based on a KYC record which the latter has submitted to their telecom operator, even if the caller’s name is not saved on their phone.

To identify the identity of an unknown caller identity at the moment, users can use third-party apps such as Truecaller. The data in Truecaller-like apps is crowdsourced, and therefore its authenticity cannot be guaranteed. KYC data will provide assurances that the data is 100% authentic.

In the present day, users can use third-party apps, such as Truecaller, to determine who the caller is, even if the caller identity is unknown. However, the data in Truecaller-like apps is crowdsourced, and therefore its authenticity cannot be guaranteed, whereas KYC data will provide assurances that the data is 100% authentic.

Moreover, the KYC data will also allow authorities to verify that the service provider has carried out the KYC process correctly and has not taken shortcuts that would lead to a false identity of a caller. As an additional advantage of the mechanism of KYC names displayed on the phone screen, spam calls can possibly be avoided or reported by ensuring that the KYC names of the unknown callers are displayed appropriately.

In the near future, there will also be a separate excise on calls made over WhatsApp since WhatsApp is connected directly to the SIM cards on users’ smartphones, therefore there is a direct connection between one’s phone number and one’s WhatsApp account.

“A full-fledged mechanism needs to be devised to implement a set of measures which would involve the DoT, Trai and the telecom operators,” according to a source in the industry.

The FE report says some groups oppose the establishment of TRAI, claiming that it would constitute invasion of privacy. But TRAI has brushed aside such objections. TRAI, according to the FE report, will submit its recommendations to the Department of Telecommunications after the consultations conclude. This is the final decision that the Department of Telecommunications will make.

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