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Government takes big step to prevent users from unsolicited business messages: Details here

In India, countless users are regularly spammed with unsolicited business or commercial messages. The new guidelines from the government are aimed at reducing these messages.

Written By: Om Gupta New Delhi Published on: June 22, 2024 13:06 IST
Unsolicited Business Messages
Image Source : FREEPIK Unsolicited Business Messages

The government is planning to bring huge relief to telecom subscribers in India. The Consumer Affairs Ministry has released new draft guidelines, which are aimed at reducing unsolicited business or commercial messages. These guidelines are aimed at helping countless users in India who are regularly spammed with countless unsolicited messages. Some of these messages are also sent by scammers and fraudsters. The ministry has sought public comments until July 21 on draft guidelines. 

The guidelines were prepared after consultations with stakeholders, including telecom firms and regulators. They define "business communication" as any communication related to goods or services, such as promotional and service messages, but exclude personal communication.

These guidelines will apply to all individuals and entities that make or engage others for such communications or benefit from them, the ministry said in a statement. The draft guidelines classify any business communication as unsolicited and unwanted if it does not comply with the recipient's consent or registered preferences.

In addition to this, certain conditions that would render a communication unauthorised include using unregistered numbers or SMS headers, making calls despite recipients opting out, failing to obtain digital consent, not identifying the caller and purpose, and lacking an opt-out option. 

The proposals also prohibit communications that violate the rules of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regarding commercial messages based on customer preferences.

In 2018, TRAI’s rules proved effective for registered telemarketers. However, the Ministry stated that unregistered marketers continue to send communications using private 10-digit numbers. Despite the success of the "Do Not Disturb" (DND) registry for registered telemarketers, the Ministry expressed concern about the persistent unwanted communication from unregistered telemarketers and those using 10-digit private numbers.

The government is dedicated to protecting consumer interests and rights, particularly in the rapidly expanding consumer space. The draft guidelines are designed to shield consumers from intrusive and unauthorised marketing, the ministry emphasised.

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Inputs from PTI

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