India's telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) intends to utilize blockchain technology to curb irritating telemarketing spam call people in India are getting since cellphone become a new normal in the country, in early 2000.

TRAI has issued new draft norms to curb pesky calls and SMSs by using blockchain technology to ensure that telemarketing messages are sent only to those who have subscribed to them, and that too by authorized entities.

With this, TRAI is most likely the first organization to execute blockchain as a RegTech (regulatory technology), Trai Chairman RS Sharma told reporters. "Blockchain will ensure two things -- non repudiative and confidentiality. Only those authorized to access details will be able to access subscriber details and only when they need to deliver service... TRAI will become first organisation to implement this kind of regulation," he added.

With blockchain technology, the mobile phone users can report the communication and the data can quickly be matched utilizing the blockchain, even in those situations where a spammer utilizes a 10-digit number.

The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations 2018 draft will be open for public comment till June 11.

The new technology based norms will record all communication between subscribers and entities, capturing customer consent for information and authorized telemarketing agencies.

With new upcoming technology-based norms, all communication between subscribers and entities will be recorded, capturing customer consent for information and authorized telemarketing agencies.

Notably, 30 billion business messages are regularly sent out in India, of which numerous are unwanted. To date, 230 million subscribers have allegedly enrolled for TRAI’s “Do not disturb” registry which started in 2010. However, the country has so far failed to take action against telemarketers.

Explaining further about age-old problem of unsolicited calls to mobile phone customers, TRAI Secretary SK Gupta said, "It is learnt that many telemarketing firms get registered with telecom companies to obtain subscriber details. The new system will give access to only authorized agencies at the time they need to deliver service and details of only those subscribers who have agreed to receive the message."

"The digital record will show entire communication between entries involved."

The upcoming draft involving blockchain tech proposes to check misuse of repeated unsolicited calls being made even to those subscribers who have given consent.

"A subscriber may have given consent for a service but that consent is liable to be misused. Under the proposed regulation. The subscriber will be able to revoke consent given to entities whenever he or she desires through Trai app and other mechanism that will be provided under the regulation," Gupta said.

Last year, we covered various stories on how the blockchain is invading financial institutions like banks and electronic voting systems in several countries, including India.

Blockchain is blurring the lines between technology and nature through a new species called Plantoid, a new digital plant, which is designed to reproduce itself via transactions made on the blockchain.

The above news was first reported by Business Standard.

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