TRAI IAMAI Calling Name Presentation Risk Indian Citizens Privacy

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The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on Thursday raised concerns over privacy and implementation in response to a proposal of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) mandating telecom service providers to display callers’ names. According to IAMAI, TRAI’s proposal to make it mandatory for telecom companies to enable Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) presents a material risk to the privacy of Indian citizens.

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IAMAI argued that it may also endanger individuals preferring not to be identified to the caller and open up individuals from vulnerable populations to targeted harassment.

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To recall, in November 2022, TRAI proposed Calling Name Presentation (CNAP), which is a feature that aims to allow users to identify callers.

“While we appreciate TRAI’s intent to eradicate spam calls, it is unlikely that the mandatory implementation of CNAP will be successful in doing so. Moreover, it will create a large privacy risk to users. In light of these issues, IAMAI has recommended that TRAI consider providing citizens with an ‘opt-in’ approach as an alternative,” IAMAI’s media statement read. 

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“Giving citizens a choice to voluntarily opt-in and out of CNAP services will ensure that citizens’ choices and preferences are put at the forefront while ensuring that their right to privacy is protected,” the statement added.

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According to TRAI data, there are approximately 1145.5 million wireless subscribers and 26.5 million wireline subscribers in India (as of September 2022).

The telecom regulator has called a meeting with mobile phone operators on February 17 to discuss the quality of wireline and wireless services, especially around the 5G rollout.

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