Smart talk mobile

Trai’s “bad news” for Truecaller is good news for mobile users

Telecoms regulator Trai will soon begin a consultation on developing a mechanism to allow the KYC-based caller name to flash on phone screens when someone calls, according to a senior official. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) received from the Telecom Department (Point).
Consultation on this is expected to start in a few months, Trai President PD Vaghela said. “We have just received a reference and we will start working on it soon. Name according to KYC will appear when someone calls,” Vaghela said.
Trai had thought of similar things before, but now with the specific reference from the telecommunications department, work will soon begin.
How will this help mobile users?
KYC-based caller name flashing can help protect smartphone users not only from spam calls, but also from phishing calls. There have been a number of cases where callers claiming to be from a bank, insurance company or other businesses trick mobile users into sharing their sensitive banking or other information for financial fraud or identity theft.
“The mechanism will allow the name to be displayed on a phone screen, in accordance with KYC performed by telecom companies, in accordance with DoT standards,” Vaghela added.
Why this may be bad news for apps like Truecaller
The move is significant because the mechanism will help identify callers based on their KYC (Know Your Customer) and provide greater accuracy and transparency than some apps like TrueCaller that identify callers based on crowdsourced data.
Sources said that once the framework for the new KYC-based mechanism is developed, the establishment of identity will become more clear and legally defensible. This will also have a ripple effect, leading to data cleansing on crowdsourced apps as there will be KYC links.
When asked if the process would remain voluntary, sources said it was too early to discuss the modalities as many aspects will be discussed at the consultation stage.
(With PTI inputs)