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Operators have to inform customers on data usage: TRAI

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

India’s telecom regulator TRAI on Friday made it mandatory for telecom operators to issue notices in form of USSD or SMS about data usage to its customers at regular intervals.

Mobile network operators now need to send information about the usage to data users at every 10 MB of data consumption except customers opting for special schemes like add-on packs, combo offers and others. The consumers are to be provided with an option to opt out if they do not desire to receive such information.

For customers using special data packs, the operator has to compulsorily inform the customer whenever the limit of data usage reaches 50 per cent, 90 per cent and full exhaustion of the allotted data limit.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also ordered the operators to intimate customers when the data balance available in the account reaches 500 MB, 100 MB and 10MB.

“Further the consumer shall be informed about the details of tariff applicable after exhausting the data limit, when the data limit reaches 90 percent or the data balance available in the account reaches 10MB,” TRAI said in a note.

Operators also need to send an alert to international roaming customer cautioning the person to deactivate data service if one does not intend to use data services.

TRAI ordered the service providers to implement the same by November 1 this year.

The regulator further said data services should be activated only with the explicit consent of the subscriber through a toll free short code – 1925. The same short code can be used to deactivate the data services as well.

“Data services through Special Tariff Voucher or Combo Voucher or add-on pack will be deemed to have been activated with consent till the expiry of the validity period of the voucher/pack or on the consumption of entire data, whichever is earlier,” said the TRAI notification.

Additionally, the customers also need to be informed through SMS at periodic intervals about the prescribed procedure for deactivation of data.

The regulator said it has been receiving several complaints from consumers regarding non-availability of information relating to the amount of data used during a data session.

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Here’s why You Should Not Give Access to Personal Info to Every App

Think twice before giving apps access to info stored on phone

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App smartphones
Giving each and every app access to personal information stored on Android smartphones such as your contacts, call history, SMS and photos may put you in trouble as bad actors can easily use these access to spy on you. Pixabay

Giving each and every app access to personal information stored on Android smartphones such as your contacts, call history, SMS and photos may put you in trouble as bad actors can easily use these access to spy on you, send spam messages and make calls anywhere at your expense or even sign you up for a premium “service”, researchers from cybersecity firm Kaspersky have warned.

But one can restrict access to such information as Android lets you configure app permissions.

Giving an app any of these permissions generally means that from now on it can obtain information of this type and upload it to the Cloud without asking your explicit consent for whatever it intends to do with your data.

Therefore, security researchers recommend one should think twice before granting permissions to apps, especially if they are not needed for the app to work.

App
Giving an app any of these permissions generally means that from now on it can obtain information of this type and upload it to the Cloud without asking your explicit consent. Pixabay

For example, most games have no need to access your contacts or camera, messengers do not really need to know your location, and some trendy filter for the camera can probably survive without your call history, Kaspersky said.

While decision to give permission is yours, the fewer access you hand out, the more intact your data will be.

Here’s what you should know to protect your data.

SMS: An app with permission to send and receive SMS, MMS, and WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) push messages, as well as view messages in the smartphone memory will be able to read all of your SMS correspondence, including messages with one-time codes for online banking and confirming transactions.

Using this permission, the app can also send spam messages in your name (and at your expense) to all your friends. Or sign you up for a premium “service.” You can see and conrol which apps have these rights by going to the settings of your phone.

Calendar: With permission to view, delete, modify, and add events in the calendar, prying eyes can find out what you have done and what you are doing today and in the future. Spyware loves this permission.

Camera: Permission to access the camera is necessary for the app to take photos and record video. But apps with this permission can take a photo or record a video at any moment and without warning. Attackers armed with embarrassing images and other dirt on you can make life a misery, according to Kaspersky.

Contacts: With permission to read, change, and add contacts in your address book, and access the list of accounts registered in the smartphone, an app can send your entire address book to its server. Even legitimate services have been found to abuse this permission, never mind scammers and spammers, for whom it is a windfall.

App phones
You can see and conrol which apps have these rights by going to the settings of your phone. Pixabay

This permission also grants access to the list of app accounts on the device, including Google, Facebook, and many other services.

Phone: Giving access to your phone means permission to view and modify call history, obtain your phone number, cellular network data, and the status of outgoing calls, add voicemail, access IP telephony services, view numbers being called with the ability to end the call or redirect it to another number and call any number.

Also Read- India Leads Porn Consumption on Smartphones in 2019: Report

This permission basically lets the app do anything it likes with voice communication. It can find out who you called and when or prevent you from making calls (to a particular number or in general) by constantly terminating calls.

It can eavesdrop on your conversations or, of course, make calls anywhere at your expense, including to pay-through-the-nose numbers, Kaspersky warned. (IANS)