Coming soon: Caller name according to KYC record to flash on phone screen

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will soon come up with a system that will enable a caller’s name to flash on the screen when someone calls. The name will be in accordance with the Telecom Operators’ Customer Know-Your-Customer (KYC) record.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman PD Vaghela told FE that a consultation on the matter would be held soon to seek stakeholder comments as the department has received a reference to this effect from the DoT.

“We have just received a reference, and we will start working on this soon. If anyone calls, the name will appear according to KYC, ”said Vaghela. He said Tri was thinking the same thing before the specific dot reference.

He said that the process would enable the caller’s name to appear on the screen as per the DoT rules, based on KYC data collected by telecom companies.

Effectively, customers will know the name of a caller even if it is not stored in their phonebook. Currently, some users can identify such callers using apps like Truecaller. The limitation of such apps is that the data is crowdsourced, so it may not be 100% authentic – something that is guaranteed in KYC data.

An added benefit of the process is that recipients will be able to avoid spam and unwanted calls or report to the authorities for necessary action. So far, despite a number of measures, TRAI has not been able to effectively block unsolicited commercial calls.

Since the issue is policy related, the final decision will be made by DoT, not Trai, which will only have to send recommendations after extensive discussions with stakeholders. TRAI’s decision is final only in the case of tariffs and the government has no role to play.

The Tri-Consultation paper will highlight issues and invite comments from stakeholders. The regulator will then hold open house sessions in major cities before finalizing its recommendations.

The issue of privacy may come up during this exercise. It is possible that some companies may object to the disclosure of the name without the consent of the customer.

Officials, however, say there is a way to provide protection if such concerns are raised.

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