Asked August 29, 2013

Privacy in Telecommunication Law

  • 2 Answers

Which particular law specifically deals with the duty of telecommunication operator to keep confidential the data or details of individual subscriber, in India. We don't really have any specific provisions about the same in Nepal

Answers 2

The kinds of safeguards that currently exist under Indian law to protect the privacy of telecom users are broadly divided in three streams of protection :

1) The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Rules framed with respect to that , which contains provisions that prohibit and penalize unlawful interception of communication. Furthermore, licenses issued to telecom service providers (TSPs) under this Act require TSPs to take measures to safeguard the privacy of their customers and confidentiality of communications.

2) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has issued various guidelines to TSPs many of which pertain to privacy. 

One such regulation is Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulation. In 2007, the Authority introduced the Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communications Regulations which were aimed at creating a mechanism for registering requests of subscribers who did not wish to receive unsolicited commercial communications. 

In February 2010, the TRAI issued a direction seeking to implement the privacy and confidentiality related clauses in the service providers’ licenses. Accordingly by this direction, the TRAI ordered all service providers to “put in place an appropriate mechanisms, so as to prevent the breach of confidentiality on information belonging to the subscribers and privacy of communication”. All service providers were required by this regulation to submit a report to the TRAI giving details of measures so adopted. 


3) The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides customers with an avenue of redress in case of violation of their privacy.  



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Divya Maheshwari
The Law of telecommunication Act, 2005 talks about the privacy and confidentiality of the subscribers to the operators. Chapter 14 is confidentiality of messages and protection of personal data in carrying out telecommunications. In that Section 1 talks about confidentiality of messages. Section 2 talks about Protection of Personal Data and Data of End users of Telecommunication Services. (1) Public operators may collect, process and use personal data and data for end users where such data are designated for the provision of a public telecommunication service. But it is only which would be helpful to the telecommunication services. For eg data that would be required for the billing purposes etc. this is clearly mentioned in the article 197. Article 198 states that except the provisions in article 197 public operators cant access the data. In Nivedita Sharma vs Bharti Tele Ventures, Bharti Tele ventures gave the mobile no, address and other personal information to various other institutes. Therefore the court said “Cellular Operators Association of India (OP No.5) is hereby directed to inform all its Members to immediately withdraw the list of subscribers and their mobiles telephone numbers provided by them to banks, finance companies or any other agencies or persons and give them directions in writing that they shall not use this information for any purpose whatsoever and also by way of telemarketing.”
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