TRAI Directs Telcos to Take Action Against Misuse of Telemarketing Message Templates

TRAI Directs Telcos to Take Action Against Misuse of Telemarketing Message Templates

In a move to combat pesky messages, India’s telecom regulator, TRAI, has directed telecom operators to take action against the misuse of telemarketing message templates. The regulator has noticed that some telemarketers have been misusing headers and content templates of enterprises, which impinges on the privacy of individuals.

TRAI’s New Direction

TRAI has issued a direction to stop the misuse of message templates under the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations 2018 (TCCCPR-2018). The regulator has directed telecom operators to make changes in the code of practices around headers and content templates of telemarketing messages under the TCCCPR 2018 rules and to comply with the direction within 30 days.

Instead of displaying mobile numbers, authorized telemarketing messages display headers that indicate the company from which it has come. TRAI has found that look-alike message titles or headers are creating confusion among recipients of messages and are being misused by some entities for their gains.

TRAI’s Plan of Action

To minimize the misuse of message templates, TRAI has directed telecom operators to re-verify all headers registered on blockchain-based messaging platforms within 30 days and block unverified headers. Telecom operators are required to develop a system within 60 days to temporarily deactivate all headers that remain unused for 30 days. Telecom operators are also required to set up an online process to reactivate headers for messages and ensure that each header is distinct.

TRAI’s direction requires telecom operators to re-verify all content templates within 60 days and block unverified templates. Telecom operators are required to incorporate procedures for quarterly re-verification of headers and content templates in their respective code of practices under the TRAI direction.

TRAI’s move comes as unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) continues to be a major source of inconvenience to the public, and TRAI has been taking various steps to curb it. The regulator believes that the new direction will help reduce the number of pesky messages and offer more privacy to individuals.

Technology

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