The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) chairman PD Vaghela, in an interaction with CNBC-TV18 said that a major initiative for checking spam by displaying the name of callers on mobile phones has hit a legal roadblock because of the newly passed Digital Personal Data Protection Act.
Vaghela said that the TRAI is currently trying to rework the caller display mechanism so that it can run smoothly, in compliance with the provisions of the DPDP Act. Vaghela shared that even as the chairman of the TRAI, he is no exception to spam calls. “I personally also experience inconvenience and harassment through calls and SMS,” he said.
Vaghela stated that the issue of spam calling is a huge challenge that is being faced by multiple countries. However, the solution to this problem is not banning all advertisers. He mentioned that TRAI recommendations could be a possible way out.
TRAI has earlier, introduced a consent based mechanism, wherein marketing calls were tuned to the needs of the customer. The mechanism also provides for penalties, according to Vaghela and will yield results in the next 2-3 years.
The chairman of the TRAI also mentioned that another major concern was the use of technology for identity theft and financial fraud. Vaghela said that the TRAI is working with the RBI, SEBI, MHA and Ministry of Consumer Affairs to develop a mechanism to keep financial frauds in check.
Furthermore, Vaghela also highlighted a new telephone series dictated to marketing calls from banks. In addition to the other measures undertaken, Vaghela said that this too will help give more clarity to consumers.
PD Vaghela is due to retire as TRAI Chairman on September 30. He will demit office after a 3 years term. Vaghela took charge as TRAI Chairman on October 1, 2020.