Telecom regulator finds new way to zap telemarketers flooding your cellphone: Blockchain

Telecom regulator finds new way to zap telemarketers flooding your cellphone: Blockchain
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1 Jun, 2018

To spare you an eternity of pesky calls and annoying SMSes, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is considering deploying blockchain to foil them all, the Business Standard reported.

According to the report, the technology will be able to sniff out telemarketers even when they use normal 10-digit phone numbers, by matching up the digits with pre-fed data.

In a draft for blockchain implementation, the regulator has said that the digital decentralised ledger (blockchain) will record all calls between service providers and customers, especially those pertaining to telemarketing. The blockchain is going to record consent from the consumer regarding telemarketing and the consent will be reviewed on a timely basis. The report said that the regulator was working on the different ways the consumer can give consent and how it can be stored on the blockchain.

“Blockchain will ensure two things — non-rejection and confidentiality. Trai will become the first organisation to implement this kind of a regulation,” Trai chairman RS Sharma was quoted as saying.

The report also cited Sharma as saying that earlier efforts by Trai to stop pesky calls and messages had met with limited success. "We will use a mix of regulation and technology to check this,” Sharma added.

He also said that the consultation paper was open to the public for comments till June 11 and the regulator expects to come out with final guidelines by the end of July. Tech giant IBM had earlier said that it was working with a lot of regulators in the country including Trai and the central bank.

Further, the report cited Trai secretary SK Gupta as saying that a lot of telemarketing companies register with telcos to just get as many subscriber details as possible. “The system will give access to authorised agencies at the time they need to deliver service. Access will be given to details of those subscribers who have agreed to receive the message,” he was quoted as saying.

“A subscriber may have given consent for a service but that consent is liable to be misused. Under the regulation, the subscriber will be able to revoke consent whenever he/she desires through a Trai app and other mechanism,” Gupta added.

The report said that at least 30 billion commercial messages are sent out every month, of which many may be unsolicited.