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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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10 Things to Know About Data Privacy

Data breaches carried out by hackers are expected to go up 22 percent annually, exposing some 146 billion records

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Data,Privacy
A French soldier watches code lines on his computer during the International Cybersecurity forum in Lille, northern France, Jan. 23, 2018. VOA

From hackers exposing private information online to the handling of users’ data by internet giants, online privacy has become a matter of growing concern for countries, companies and people alike.

On Monday, countries around the world marked Data Privacy Day, also known as Data Protection Day — an initiative to raise awareness of internet safety issues.

Here are 10 facts about online privacy:

* Less than 60 percent of countries have laws to secure the protection of data and privacy.

privacy
A data theft alert is displayed on a “threat spiral” at the ProtectWise booth during the Black Hat information security conference in Las Vegas, July 26, 2017. VOA

* Europe’s data protection regulators have received more than 95,000 complaints about possible data breaches since the adoption of a landmark EU privacy law in May.

* More than one in two respondents to a 2018 global survey by pollster CIGI-Ipsos said they had grown more concerned about their online privacy compared to the previous year.

* Almost 40 percent of respondents to another survey by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said they did not know how to protect themselves from cybercrime.

* A survey of tech professionals by security key maker Yubico suggested experts might not live up to safety standards. It found almost 70 percent of respondents shared passwords with colleagues.

US Intelligence, Privacy
A specialist works at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Va., Sept. 9, 2014. (VOA)

* More than half reused an average of five passwords across their work and personal accounts.

* About 4 percent of people targeted by an email phishing campaign would click on it.

* In 2017, almost 17 million U.S. consumers experienced identity fraud — the unauthorized use of personal information, such as credit card data, for financial gain.

Also Read: Tech Giant Google Discusses its Data Privacy Before Senate Hearing

* Data breaches carried out by hackers are expected to go up 22 percent annually, exposing some 146 billion records, including personal information such as name, address and credit card numbers by 2023.

* Data breaches cost companies worldwide almost $4 million on average for every incident. (VOA)