Telecom operators and tech companies have voiced concerns against mandatory caller ID display or calling name presentation (CNAP) across telecommunication networks. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released industry comments on the consultation paper on the introduction of CNAP in telecommunication networks. In a unanimous move, telecom operators and tech companies have stated that a mandatory caller ID display will not be advisable.
Mandatory caller ID is a crucial component of the new Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022, wherein the government wants telecom services providers to ensure that the name and identity of their subscribers are on display while calling another individual. This is a mandatory feature that could be a ubiquitous part of the telecommunications network.
TRAI initiated a consultation on this issue after the bill was released to seek comments from stakeholders. Most stakeholders who submitted their comments have stated that this cannot be implemented, citing privacy reasons, technological limitations, and consumer consent issues, among others.
For instance, US-India Business Council, which represents the interests of US-based tech companies, has recommended to focus initial efforts on operationalising the CNAP capabilities on a voluntary basis within the telecommunications networks and (mobile and landline) phones. Meanwhile, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) stated that, considering technical, privacy and costs-related concerns and existing mechanism about Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR), 2018 in place, the implementation of CNAP should not be mandatory and should be kept optional for telecom service providers (TSPs). It added that CNAP should be left to TSPs, who may consider implementing the same while keeping the market dynamics/business case in mind.