DoT to Deploy Caller ID Feature Initially for Commercial Entities: Report

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India is reportedly considering introducing a new feature that displays a caller's identity on phone screens for commercial entities only. Due to privacy concerns, the feature may not be immediately available to non-commercial telephone numbers.

Highlights

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is working on a proposal to introduce the calling name presentation (CNAP) facility to reduce spam calls.
  • The feature related to displaying the caller's identity on the phone screen may first be deployed only for commercial entities due to privacy issues.
  • The phased approach may be adopted to first restrict the new feature to commercial entities and may later be extended to private users after obtaining individual consent.

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DoT May Deploy Caller ID Feature Initially for Commercial Entities: Report

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India is planning to introduce a feature called calling name presentation (CNAP) to display the caller's identity on the phone screen. Globally as well telcos are testing and deploying AI-powered tools and technology to curb the menace of spam calls and provide customers with reliable caller ID solutions.




Also Read: Rogers and Fido Customers Get AI-Powered Spam Call Detect Feature

Empower Telecom Subscribers

However, the Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) feature may be available only for commercial entities in the initial stages due to privacy concerns, according to a report by Financial Express.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is currently working on a proposal to introduce the CNAP feature to empower subscribers to make informed decisions while receiving incoming calls, which will also help reduce spam calls. Currently, the caller's name can be identified by downloading the Truecaller app, but it may not be fully authentic due to the lack of KYC.

Privacy Concerns

Due to concerns over privacy issues that have been raised during the consultation process, the government is reportedly considering first restricting the new feature to commercial entities and later extending it to private users after obtaining individual consent.

This phased approach is seen as a way to reduce pesky calls and financial frauds. Most telecom operators and consumer organizations support this approach. Bharti Airtel has stated that there are between 5 to 8 million entities/users engaged in telemarketing/commercial calling, excluding the P2P users/numbers who engage in misuse.

Also Read: TRAI Issues Directions to Telcos to Curb Unauthorized Promotions Using Telecom Resources

Bharti Airtel, during the consultation process on the subject, said, "Hence, the immediate and primary target of CNAP should be such A2P (application-to-person)/telemarketing/UCC (unsolicited commercial call) calling, which is the major volume driver of spam today. Once the solution is tested successfully on this universe, a wider roll-out could be deliberated over the larger subscriber base, if needed."

"We are concerned about the privacy of users and similarly about the issue of rising spams and financial frauds. Therefore, we would want to get started with commercial entities first to see the implementation of the feature. TRAI is working on the recommendations simultaneously and we will see what best solution can come in," the report cited a statement from a government official, adding that there will be a reduction in pesky calls and messages with TRAI's directions on cleaning headers and templates.

Also Read: TRAI Directs Telcos to Report Major Network Outages at District Level

Analyze a 2017 SC Judgement

TRAI Chairman PD Vaghela has directed his legal team to analyze a 2017 Supreme Court judgment on privacy to better understand the issues surrounding the privacy concerns that have been raised by stakeholders with the implementation of the caller ID feature. "We are concerned about privacy, there is no doubt about that. TRAI has always stood for the privacy of people," Vaghela said at an open house discussion last month.

The 2017 Supreme Court ruling declared privacy to be a fundamental right under Part III of the Constitution. The Court also ruled that grounds for restricting the right to privacy must pass the three-fold test of legality, necessity, and proportionality.

Reported By

Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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