TRAI’s mandatory caller identification proposal endangers privacy: IAMAI
IAMAI also believes that the mandatory implementation of CNAP is unlikely to be successful in reducing spam calls.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which represents over 400 companies in the digital services industry, has expressed concerns over the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recent move to make it mandatory for service providers to display the caller’s name on phone screens when users receive calls. IAMAI believes that this mandate may pose a threat to the privacy of citizens and could expose vulnerable populations to harassment.
According to IAMAI, the implementation of this feature, known as Calling Name Presentation (CNAP), for a large number of users would require a significant overhaul of the current telecom infrastructure and carriers could incur huge costs as a result. The association also stated that the CNAP feature would require a secure, synchronized, and robust system capable of supporting billions of calls on a daily basis.
TRAI released a consultation paper in November 2022 to implement a mechanism to display the caller’s name on mobile phones, which was in response to a request from the Department of Telecommunications to empower telephone consumers in making informed decisions when receiving calls and to reduce harassment from unknown or spam callers.
However, IAMAI believes that the mandatory implementation of CNAP is unlikely to be successful in reducing spam calls and has recommended that Trai consider an “opt-in” approach instead, which would give citizens the choice to voluntarily participate in CNAP services while also protecting their right to privacy. The association noted that giving citizens the ability to opt-in and out of CNAP would prioritize their choices and preferences.
Telecom operators also expressed opposition to TRAI’s mandatory caller identification proposal last month, citing technical difficulties, and privacy issues. Reliance Jio, for example, stated that the feature would increase the load on the networks and may negatively impact interconnection.
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