Telcos, industry, consumer bodies flag privacy, data protection concerns against mandatory caller ID

  • Implementation of CNAP feature is that it will require changes in call flow thereby resulting in longer call setup time, which would make customers unhappy and highly dissatisfied with the service provided, the association said

Gulveen Aulakh
First Published9 Feb 2023
The KYC verification on its own may not provide the most accurate information on the caller ID feature as current rules permit one KYC holder to purchase up to nine SIM cards, thus the user of a mobile phone may not be the actual owner of the SIM purchased.
The KYC verification on its own may not provide the most accurate information on the caller ID feature as current rules permit one KYC holder to purchase up to nine SIM cards, thus the user of a mobile phone may not be the actual owner of the SIM purchased.

Telecom service providers, internet and industry bodies along with civil society have raised privacy concerns against the implementation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s proposal to make it mandatory for telcos to enable Calling Name Presentation (CNAP) as a means to provide consumer relief from spam and fraudulent calls. They’ve also said that the proposal should be made optional for telcos as well as opt-in for consumers. 

Telcos, individually and through the Cellular Operators Association of India have said that implementing CNAP should be made optional for telcos which may be implemented keeping the business case or market dynamics in mind since it would involve high costs. It would also lead to deterioration in quality of services.  

“Implementation of CNAP feature is that it will require changes in call flow thereby resulting in longer call setup time, which would make customers unhappy and highly dissatisfied with the service provided,” the association said.  

It also cautioned that a CNAP solution was not available for 2G or 3G networks and for featurephones, even for some smartphones whose software are no longer supported.   

It also flagged that since handset manufacturers and OS providers have control over the data obtained through the CNAP facility, it could result in the breach of subscriber data privacy. “This would be biggest concern related to privacy and confidentiality of entire country’s subscriber information, which would be akin to building up of Name and Mobile Number database as is in Aadhaar database, with third parties,” the association said. 

Jaipur-based New Indian Consumer Initiative also sounded out concerns of privacy and protection of identity of users such as those in distress, victims of abuse, whistle-blowers, and journalists. “These individuals may need to make anonymous or confidential calls to seek help or report abuse, and the introduction of CNAP could put them at risk if their name is displayed,” the consumer body said in its submission to Trai. 

Noting issues around consent, risks to privacy and protection of data of consumers, the consumer body said that the database from which names would be sourced for display, would make it difficult to assign blame and hold violators accountable in case of data breach and leakages and associated risks of identity spoofing and misuse of data. “With access to the personal information of customers, an unauthorized person could potentially impersonate someone else and make calls on their behalf. This could lead to confusion, harassment, or even fraud,” it said.  

Internet body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) raised concerns over privacy against the implementation of the proposal and has instead recommended providing citizens with an ‘opt-in’ approach to CNAP as an alternative.  

Enabling CNAP by disclosing the personal name of all telecom subscribers based on their know your-customer (KYC) documentation would pose a risk to those seeking privacy due to variety of reasons, for instance, the risk to life and property, witness protection, whistle-blower protection, risk of retribution, the industry body said.  

In its submission to the Trai, it flagged the enhanced risk to women’s safety in the event of her name and data being shared with every calling party whether or not she consents to it. “This could potentially increase the risk and expose one’s number to being circulated without permission, increase spam through calls and messages, targeted sexual harassment, being added to unsubscribed groups on messaging applications and social media platforms etc.” 

The KYC verification on its own may not provide the most accurate information on the caller ID feature as current rules permit one KYC holder to purchase up to nine SIM cards, thus the user of a mobile phone may not be the actual owner of the SIM purchased. 

It also highlighted that the provisions would be in contravention to the right to privacy which has been established as a fundamental constitutional right by the Supreme Court in Justice KS Puttaswamy judgement of 2017. “Going ahead with the current CNAP framework may adversely impact individual freedom and therefore is not advised,” the body said in its response to the proposal, and suggested that giving citizens a choice to voluntarily opt in and out of CNAP services. 

Catch all the Industry News, Banking News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.MoreLess
HomeIndustryTelecomTelcos, industry, consumer bodies flag privacy, data protection concerns against mandatory caller ID

Most Active Stocks

Bharat Electronics

258.85
07:19 AM | 18 MAY 2024
10.65 (4.29%)

Bandhan Bank

182.90
07:18 AM | 18 MAY 2024
1.7 (0.94%)

Zee Entertainment Enterprises

140.70
07:17 AM | 18 MAY 2024
5.75 (4.26%)

GAIL India

208.75
07:15 AM | 18 MAY 2024
4.9 (2.4%)
More Active Stocks

Market Snapshot

  • Top Gainers
  • Top Losers
  • 52 Week High

Zydus Lifesciences

1,104.45
07:19 AM | 18 MAY 2024
52.55 (5%)

Balkrishna Industries

2,798.95
07:16 AM | 18 MAY 2024
133.25 (5%)

Bharat Dynamics

2,437.05
06:57 AM | 18 MAY 2024
116.05 (5%)

Hindustan Zinc

618.80
06:59 AM | 18 MAY 2024
29.45 (5%)
More from Top Gainers

Recommended For You

    More Recommendations

    Gold Prices

    • 24K
    • 22K
    Bangalore
    74,557.00-514.00
    Chennai
    74,997.00146.00
    Delhi
    75,071.00-293.00
    Kolkata
    75,511.00147.00

    Fuel Price

    • Petrol
    • Diesel
    Bangalore
    99.84/L0.00
    Chennai
    100.88/L0.13
    Kolkata
    103.94/L0.00
    New Delhi
    94.72/L0.00
    HomeMarketsPremiumFor youGet App