Soon, the caller’s name will be shown on the phone screen based on their KYC record.

When someone calls, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will shortly release a system that will display the caller’s name on the screen.

When someone calls, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will shortly release a system that will display the caller’s name on the screen. The name would be based on the subscriber’s know-your-customer (KYC) record with the telecom companies.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman, PD Vaghela, informed FE that the department has received a reference to this effect from the DoT, and that a consultation document will be issued soon to solicit stakeholders’ input.

“We just received a referral and will begin working on this as soon as possible.” When someone calls, their name will show according to KYC,” Vaghela explained. He claimed Trai had been thinking along the same lines prior to the DoT mention.

According to DoT regulations, the system will allow the caller’s name to show on the screen based on KYC information received by telecom firms.

Subscribers will effectively learn a caller’s name even if it is not kept in their phone book. Some users may now identify unknown calls using applications such as Truecaller. The drawback of such applications is that the data is crowdsourced, which means it may not be 100 percent legitimate — something that KYC ensures.

Another benefit of the approach is that recipients would be able to avoid spam and unwanted calls by reporting them to the appropriate authorities. Trai has not been able to effectively prohibit unwanted commercial calls despite taking many steps.

Because this is a policy issue, the DoT will make the final decision, not Trai, which will simply have to submit recommendations after extensive engagement with stakeholders. Only in tariff cases is the TRAI’s judgment final, and the government has no say.

The Trai consultation document will identify concerns and solicit feedback from interested parties. Before finalizing its proposals, the agency will host open house meetings in key cities.

Among the issues highlighted throughout this exercise is likely to be the question of privacy. Some organizations may oppose identities being disclosed without the subscribers’ authorization.

Officials, on the other hand, claim that if such issues are expressed, there is a means to implement precautions.

 

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