TRAI Suspends SMS Regulations Due to OTP Issues Affecting Users

TRAI Suspends SMS Regulations Due to OTP Issues Affecting Users

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday decided to temporarily suspend the Telecom Communications Customer Preference Regulations (TCCCPR), 2018 that were aimed to reduce spam SMS messages. The delay has come due to the massive disruption in SMS services that troubled a large number of people in the country, people familiar with the matter informed Gadgets 360. The telecom operators implemented the new Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) process to comply with the new regulations. However, that move made it difficult for people to receive one-time passwords (OTPs) over SMS messages and affected processes ranging from CoWIN registration and debit card transactions to two-factor authentication and online account logins.

Industry sources confirmed to Gadgets 360 that TRAI is suspending the TCCCPR owing to OTP issues faced by lakhs of Indians on Monday. According to a source, OTP APIs that were affected are “going to be back to working soon.” He added that most of the OTP systems are already back to normal and the rest will be operating fully soon as well.

This is not a permanent rollback, though. This is instead a temporary measure because of the difficulties people faced. “People will still have to submit templates of their messages, and this whole process is going to continue, [the suspension of TCCCPR] is only a temporary measure.”

TRAI is yet to provide clarity on whether the suspension is limited to a particular period or is in place for an indefinite time. Sources told Gadgets 360 that the regulator is yet to inform telecom operators about the update.

“We are concerned about any customer inconvenience caused and have ordered a 7-day temporary suspension of the SMS scrubbing which was activated on Monday,” TRAI said.

Many affected people were outraged for not receiving OTPs due to the updated DLT process. Some banks and other organisations also provided clarification to users about the hiccups being faced while getting OTPs over SMS messages.

With TCCPR, TRAI had directed telecom operators to implement content scrubbing to curb spam messages over their networks. The process, however, resulted in delay and failure in delivery of OTPs as every SMS message was to verify with a registered template.

Does WhatsApp’s new privacy policy spell the end for your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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