The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) plans on using blockchain to stop unsolicited telemarketing calls, The Business Standard revealed May 30th.
The TRAI claims that the technology will enable them to accurately rack telemarketing spammers. These often use unregistered 10-digit phone numbers to escape being tracked. RS Sharma, TRAI Chairman, has claimed that TRAI is “probably the first organization” to implement blockchain as a RegTech (regulatory technology) “on such a large scale,” adding that:
“Blockchain will ensure two things — non-repudiation and confidentiality. Only those authorized will be able to access details of a subscriber and only when they need to deliver service… [in cases where consent] is misused… the subscriber will be able to revoke consent whenever they desire through a Trai app.”
According to TRAI, about 30 billion commercial messages are sent in India every month, a majority of which are unwanted. TRAI started a “Do Not Disturb” registry, which came into effect in 2010, with 230 million subscribers registered, but the registry has failed so far in stopping telemarketers.
Blockchain can be used as a digital record that will track the communication between entries involved. In cases where a spammer tries to use a 10 digit number, users can report the call and the data can be quickly matched using the blockchain platform.
TRAI’s Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations 2018 draft has been opened for public comment until June 11. The new regulations propose that consent to commercial communications must be reviewed periodically to ensure that consent is not abused. The Business Standard reports that the new regulations should be finalized by July.