Indian government hints at bringing new law to crack down on spam
- The draft of national e-commerce policy suggests developing a legal framework to regulate unsolicited commercial messages and calls.
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had earlier suggested regulating unsolicited commercial calls by allowing the consumers to choose when they would prefer receiving such calls.
- The telecom regulator identified the issue in 2007 but is still struggling to fight the menace.
According to the draft national e-commerce policy, the Indian government is developing a new legal framework restricting unsolicited commercial messages “including but not limited to SMSes and emails.” It’s unclear when the framework will go into effect.
This isn’t the first time India has tried to regulate spam calls. In fact, it identified the issue of unwanted calls and messages as early as 2007. Last year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India proposed rules allowing consumers to choose a specific time to receive text messages.
In addition, it also launched launched the Do-Not-Disturb app to report unwanted calls and messages.
However, these policies have had limited success thus far. In fact, the existing regulation isn’t likely to make an impact because of the unfriendly user app, Hemant Upadhyay, advisor (telecom & IT) at Consumer Voice told Economic Times citing consumer group. The effectiveness of the DND app has also been called into question.
India has over a billion mobile users, a figure expected to grow to 1.42 billion by 2024, reported Hindustan Times citing Ericsson Mobility Report. The popularity of WhatsApp and Facebook has also meant that brands are now increasingly using several channels to reach target consumers including social media.
Given growing privacy concerns with emerging technology, tougher regulation would be welcome news for consumers.
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