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ibusinesslines.com July 19, 2018


Trai seeks views on data security in telecom sector

10 August 2017, 10:09 | Justin Tyler

Trai seeks views on data security in telecom sector

TRAI issues consultation paper on ownership and control of user's data

In an interview with Times of India on Tuesday, Sharma accused Apple of being a "data colonizer" and "anti-consumer" as the US-based company did not allow customers to pass on details about unwanted calls and messages to authorities or their own mobile operators. The consultation paper will mark the beginning of the consultation process.

Citing provisions under the Indian Telegraph Act, Trai said preserving data confidentiality is a fundamental motivator for ensuring security of telecom infrastructure and "vulnerabilities in the telecommunication infrastructure can lead to disruption of basic services with a severe impact on citizens, businesses and the delivery of public services".

Trai said the availability of data has enhanced the business and efficiency potential of data analytics.

Once the process is completed, TRAI will issue recommendations to the telecommunications department, which, in turn, will take a final decision on implementation. As per an official, the authority has been working on the paper for the past couple of months as now there are no guidelines regarding the use of data by third party entities and also who owns the data.

The app is available for Android users on Google Play Store. "It is not Apple's data, it is not the data of a telephone manufacturer", Sharma said. Trai asked if there should be legitimate exceptions to the data protection requirements imposed on digital service providers. First, there is often an information asymmetry between the consumer and the data user on account of the under-estimation by consumers about the value of their personal data and ignorance about the scale and use of the data being collected and its use. In particular, what are the new capabilities that must be granted to consumers over the use of their personal data?


The app is effectively a call blocker for numbers associated with call spammers and robocallers, but it performs this function by utilizing the user's call logs and messaging history.

In light of recent advances in technology, what changes, if any, are recommended to the definition of personal data? "How can you take away my right over my own data?"

This comes at a time when the Trai is embroiled in a row with a major smartphone manufacturer over the latter not allowing a do not disturb app by the regulator to gain access the user data.

"The consultation will be on data security, ownership and data privacy in the telecom sector".

The paper describes data protection as the legal control over access to and use of data stored in the digital format, and the ability of individuals to understand and control the manner in which information pertaining to them can be accessed and used by others. "My call logs or my SMS data can not be the data of the device manufacturer". "It may create an arbitrage opportunity", COAI's Mathews said.



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