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‘CALL DATA BEING USED TO IMPROVE QUALITY’: SURVEILLANCE CONCERNS

Why in news?

Amid questions over possible surveillance and violation of privacy following bulk call data records being sought by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the government on 18th March 2020, asserted that the data was only being collected to analyse and improve the quality of telecom services and ruled out any form of surveillance.
 

Details

  • The DoT said that given the numerous complaints about quality of service on the country’s telecommunications networks including call drops, echo, cross connections, incomplete or poor caller experience, the DoT had developed a software tool to analyse big data and accurately ascertain call drops in any area.
  • For this purpose, data on calls made from mobiles in any tower coverage area is analysed to ascertain calls terminated within 30 seconds and made again.
  • DoT will be better equipped to take up such cases and areas with the telecom service providers based on actual data.
  • For this purpose, total data of calls made during any particular time period from the identified cell phone tower locations from where the complaints are received is collected to enable analysis
  • There is also no question whatsoever of ascertaining the content of the call. The data collected is anonymised.
  • There is no surveillance of any kind.
  • The data was anonymised and did not contain the names of either the maker or receiver of the calls.
  • Hence, there was no threat of infringement of privacy of any person.
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September 2022
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