Govt to come up with Truecaller-like KYC-based name display system

Updated on May 21, 2022 04:09 PM IST

The government's decision comes at a time when the number cases pertaining to spam calls and frauds have been on the rise. The KYC-based system is expected to safeguard users against such incidents.

Mohali mayor’s biz partner alleged that the caller warned him and his family of severe consequences if he didn’t pay up. (HT)
Mohali mayor’s biz partner alleged that the caller warned him and his family of severe consequences if he didn’t pay up. (HT)
By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan, New Delhi

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is planning to develop a system to help mobile phone users identify a caller's identity, a top official told news agency PTI. The system - to be powered by KYC (know your customer) details - will be pitched as the government's replacement for the popular Truecaller app.

TRAI has received a reference to begin consultation from the Department of Telecom (DoT). Consultation on the framework for this is likely to begin in a couple of months, TRAI Chairman PD Vaghela told PTI.

"The mechanism will enable name-appearing on a phone screen, in accordance with KYC done by telecom companies, as per DoT norms," Vaghela said.

According to TRAI, the mechanism will help identify callers as per their KYC registration and bring greater accuracy and transparency than some apps that identify callers based on crowdsourced data.

Sources said that once the framework is worked out, identification will become clearer and legally tenable. It will also have a ripple effect, leading to a clean-up of data on crowdsourcing apps with the help of KYC linkages.

TRAI has previously implemented blockchain technology to curb the problem of unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) or spam calls and messages.

Experts say a KYC-based caller identification mechanism could safeguard users against rising cases of spam calls and fraud.

In an email statement, caller identification app Truecaller's spokesperson said: "We welcome any, and all actions in the mission to make communication safe and efficient".

"Number identification is crucial to ending the menace of spam and scam calls and we, at Truecaller, have been working tirelessly towards this important mission for the past 13 years. We appreciate this move by Trai and would like to reiterate that we remain very supportive of this and any future initiatives they have," the spokesperson added.

(With PTI inputs)

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