What is ‘SMS scrubbing’?

The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) started to implement the second phase of SMS regulation on March 8, 2021. With this move, the functioning of banks and e-commerce firms were hit and several crucial services were disrupted such as sending of one-time password (OTP) by banks and e-commerce firms for several services.

SMS Scrubbing

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) have recently notified that every SMS content will have to be verified before it is delivered to the users. This process of verifying the SMS content is known as SMS scrubbing. This process was implemented on March 8 after several delays. As this system was rolled out, unverified and unregistered SMS messages were blocked by the telecom operators.

Concerns

The implementation of the SMS regulation hit and halt the process of sending the OTP for several payment services. This implementation was not fine-tuned

Why this new regulation was implemented?

The TRAI highlighted that, unscrupulous telemarketers override the stated preference of subscriber nowadays by claiming the consent which could be obtained surreptitiously. Thus, this new regulation will provide the subscriber with the complete control over their consent. This concept of registered templates for both SMS and voice communication was introduced to prevent the mixing of the promotional messages into the transactional stream. The SMS content will be verified with the help of blockchain method. This method blocks every unregistered SMS.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)

It is a statutory body established under section 3 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997. It regulates the telecommunications sector in India. TRAI comprises of a Chairperson and more than two full-time members.

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