The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday said it is taking necessary steps such as implementation of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning technology and spam detect system to control unwanted calls and messages from unregistered telemarketers.
The statement from the telecom regulator follows complaints from people regarding Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC) or spam messages and calls from unregistered telemarketers, which are a major source of inconvenience for the public and affect the privacy of individuals.
Since these unwanted calls and messages become grounds for financial frauds, Trai, along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi), and the ministry of consumer affairs will also frame a joint action plan to curb such frauds.
A recent survey by community social media platform LocalCircles showed that six in 10 people have reported personal data breach by their loan service providers, while four in 10 people have pointed fingers towards insurance providers or banks.
In August, minister of state for finance Bhagwat Karad told Parliament that private and public banks have reported data frauds amounting to Rs 6,861 crore in the April-June quarter.
According to Trai, the implementation of a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in 2019 that requires registration from telemarketers before sending promotional content to consumers has resulted in substantial reduction of customer complaints.
“There are about 250,000 principal entities registered with more than 600,000 headers and approximately 55,00,000 (5.5 million) approved message templates which are being pushed to consumers through registered telemarketers & TSPs (telecom service providers) using DLT platforms. This has resulted in substantial reduction of customer complaints to the extent of 60% for registered telemarketers,” Trai said in its statement.
The issue also assumes significance in light of the government’s efforts to protect personal data breach with the personal data protection Act, the draft for which is currently in public consultation. Once it becomes an Act, the regulations will put the onus on companies in case of a personal data breach with penal provisions of up to `500 crore. Further, the companies will have to intimate users in simple language before collecting the data, and explain the purpose for using the data. The companies can use data only after receiving consent from users.