True caller is a Swedish app widely popular among Indians as it helps to identify the caller and thereby saves their time. It is a smartphone application that has features of caller-identification, call blocking, flash-messaging, call recording, chat, and voice by using the internet. It claims that ‘true caller’ is obliged to keep the data of its users safe.
Nevertheless, according to a report from an online intelligence firm, Cyble, some personal data of about 4.75 crore Indians have been put on sale at dime a dozen. The price set for the data of 4.75 crore Indians is $1000, which is roughly around Rs.75000 on the dark web. Cyble is a firm founded by global cybersecurity expert Beenu Arora. The cyber intelligence firm claims that the data was sourced from the true caller. They said that they were also taken by surprise with such a low amount being charged for the data. On the other hand, the true caller has called it a spoof and denied that report. According to the true caller, there has been no breach of its database, and all the users’ information is saved securely.
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The blog of Cyble says that the users’ data on sale includes mobile numbers, gender, city, mobile network, Facebook-id, and some more personal details. Quoting-unquoting the post the Cyble “ Cyble researchers are progressing with their analysis, but clearly, this leak may have a potential impact on broader users in India such as spams, scams, identity thefts, etc. we will update this blog as we get more information”. Reverting to the questions asked by the officials of true caller about their security policies, a true caller spokesperson said, “We take the privacy of our users and the integrity of our services extremely seriously and we are continuously monitoring for suspicious activities”. Further stating that it is a stunt to degrade the goodwill of true caller and the information is similar to the sale of data set in May 2019. The spokesperson added “what they have heard is likely the same dataset as before. It’s easy for bad actors to compile multiple phone numbers database and put a stamp of the true caller on it. By doing this, they increase the credibility of the dataset and it becomes easy as well as convenient for them to sell it”.
Truecaller has also urged everyone not to fall prey to such bad actors whose primary motive is to swindle the people of their money.
Whether this information by Cyble is true or a hoax, the matter of consideration is that by what means we can secure our data. One by one all the companies tend to sell our personal information and we don’t know how they are going to use this information. Last year, the same incident took place with Facebook, and for a recent example, we can see the incident with un-academy, which is an online learning platform. The concerned authorities should wake up from their deep slumber and take action to secure the data of the users.