What’s the scoop: Starting May 1, 2023, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has put in place new regulations that mandate the use of artificial intelligence (AI) spam filters for incoming calls and short messaging services (SMS), according to a report by Business Times. This is an implementation of the AI system proposed by Vi (Vodafone Idea) in March of this year and is meant to detect patterns in fraudulent messages. The regulations instruct telecom operators to disallow ten-digit numbers from making promotional calls, according to a report by Business Today. So far, Bharti Airtel and Reliance have confirmed that they intend to apply an AI filter service. Why it matters: While intended to help telecom consumers, the regulation leaves some questions unanswered. The information currently available about this AI system lacks details on how the filter would work. It also doesn’t really shed light on how much control individual telecom operators would have on what is censored and what isn’t. Besides, there isn’t any law forbidding telecom operators from filtering calls and messages which means if they misuse it, it is completely legal to do so. The backdrop of this regulation: The implementation of these regulations comes in as the logical next step to the efforts TRAI has been putting in to control unsolicited commercial communications (UCC). The first step in this direction was the release of the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulation (TCCCPR), 2018. This co-regulation was created by telecom service providers and legally backed by TRAI.…
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