TRAI Directs Jio And Airtel: Seek User Consent Or Face Fines For Promotional Messages

TRAI, the authority overseeing telecom rules in India, has set up new rules. Now, companies like Jio and Airtel need your clear permission before they can send you ads or promotional messages. This is to tackle the problem of increasing spam calls and messages in India.

New Guidelines for Telecom Operators

In response to the surge in unwanted promotional messages, TRAI launched the Digital Consent Acquisition (DCA) program. Despite directives issued on June 2, 2023, some operators, including Airtel and Vi, failed to comply, resulting in a Rs 1 crore penalty. TRAI now introduces updated guidelines requiring user consent on a per-agency basis.

Telecom Operators to Seek User Permission

Under the new rules, agencies must obtain user permission through the telecom operator before sending promotional content. Users will receive an SMS notification with a unique code, starting with 127xxx, explaining the consent request's purpose, scope, and the requesting agency's identity. Users can respond to grant or deny consent, with denial leading to the blocking of messages from that agency. TRAI urges operators to create an online portal for users to revoke consent.

Focus on Spam SMS Messages Initially

The guidelines initially target spam SMS messages, with the Digital Consent Acquisition (DCA) system expanding to include spam calls later. Effective immediately, telecom operators must promptly adhere to the guidelines, with any consent obtained before this notification considered invalid.

TRAI's DND 3.0 App to Combat Spam

In addition, TRAI introduces the TRAI DND 3.0 app to identify and block spam calls and SMS. Available on the Google Play Store for Android users, the app allows users to report unwanted promotional messages for TRAI to address with the relevant carrier.

These regulations empower users, offering control over communication preferences and aiming to reduce unwanted spam cases. Telecom operators are urged to comply promptly to ensure transparency and user-centric communication practices.