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Truecaller claims its government digital directory may tackle phone call scams in India

Government Digital Directory introduced by Truecaller to include verified numbers of the central and state governments in India.

Truecaller introduced a Government Digital Directory on December 6 with the objective to build “trust in digital communication” and tackle phone call scams impersonating government officials. The directory will include verified numbers of the central and state governments in India. Currently, the directory is available on Android phones in India and covers around 20 central government ministries, over 23 states, and union territories, the company stated on its website. It adds that the service will help users “seamlessly connect with the government by giving access to verified contacts of government officials.” Why does this matter: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) identifies spoofing, which is when a caller fakes its caller identification line to disguise its identity, as one of the major problems faced by Indian telecom users. Reports have highlighted that Indians face the menace of spam calls, mostly related to property, business and employment services by fake government agencies, on a daily basis. The Indian telecom ministry has also laid emphasis on revealing caller identity for users' protection in its latest draft telecom bill, MediaNama reported, and Truecaller's new service may be a step headed in that direction. How does the feature work: Users can see a green background and a blue tick indicating that the number is verified whenever their phone rings. Truecaller states that this will enable the identification of scammers who may use names of government service providers, thereby protecting users from being targets of impersonated calls. TRAI’s plan to launch homegrown ID service:…

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Curious about privacy, surveillance developments and the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. Outside work, I am either reading, reflecting on my notepad, re-tuning my voice or just overthinking!

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