Truecaller Makes a Big Privacy Pitch as Focus on Instant Messaging Intensifies

You probably haven’t realised this all along, but Truecaller wears many hats. It remains one of of the most important apps in the Apple iOS and the Google Android ecosystem, and perhaps is among the first set of critical apps that most people (including yours truly) install on a new phone. It is a vital tool for caller-identification and call-blocking, something that is extremely essential in this day and age when spam calls and messages are a scourge. It is a payments app. You can use this to send flash-messages to friends. It can be the default call dialler on your phone. It can be your default messaging inbox. You can even use it to record phone calls. Pretty soon, it could become your default destination for group messages too—as the focus on becoming a viable messaging platform for users to switch to, becomes clear. Which is why it is all the more crucial that Truecaller is taking the privacy aspects very seriously.

Truecaller’s privacy pitch is a four pronged implementation, which shares the control with users as well as takes certain responsibility on their shoulders. At a time when most of us are wary about what is happening with our data and who is selling our information to third parties, Truecaller is taking pains to reassure users that the company does not sell any user data. “We do not sell our users’ names or phone numbers to third parties because it is against our ethics,” they say. However, Truecaller does say that they have a trusted list of advertising partners who they work with for in-app advertisements, which keep the app free-to-use for users who may not sign up for the Premium subscription. Truecaller also has a list of partners along with their individual privacy policies available for access via the app—the list includes GoogleFacebookTwitter and InMobi, among others. Truecaller confirms to News18 that they don’t share any user details at all with any advertising partners, and instead only help the advertisers target users based on their data. At no point does an advertising partner doesn’t actually get access to the information of any Truecaller user. Surely, this is quite rare in these times when user data is sold at the altar of advertising, by most apps that you use on your smartphone.

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