Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman RS Sharma was in the news recently for making his Aadhaar number public on Twitter. After completing his three-year tenure as TRAI chief, Sharma will retire on 9 August.
In an interview with Dharmendra Singh Bhadoria, he said people provide their Aadhaar numbers to a many agencies. If any harm could have been caused to a person merely by knowing his number, lakhs would have been ruined by now.
What did you conclude after making your Aadhaar public?
I still believe there is no risk involved in sharing Aadhaar number. The system is totally safe. You cannot obtain any extra information through it. It is a different thing if someone accesses information about you by hacking any other system.
What are TRAI’s recommendations on data security?
Obtain as less data as possible from the user. The restrictions which apply to telecom companies should be applicable to phones, browsers and apps too. The user’s identity should not be disclosed while using the data. The person whose data is being used should be aware of it. Privacy agreements should be be simple and brief and in the local language.
There are only three operators in the telecom field now. Will this not lead to a monopoly-like situation?
In other countries also there are only three or four companies. In India, there are four companies, including the BSNL. There will be no monopoly even after consolidation. Even if such a situation arises, it would be taken care of.
Why are the problems of internet speed and call drops not getting resolved?
For this, the broadband must be expanded. In our country 93 per cent data is received through mobile. We don’t have fixed lines. If you are carrying your mobile, it is not possible to get the same speed everywhere. The number of customers is high. Infrastructure is also a challenge.
What benefits the consumers will get from National Digital Communication Policy 2018? Is 50 Mbps speed possible for all?
Fifty Mbps speed is quite possible. Telecom is not only about voice, it is also about data. Besides, 40 lakh people will get employment till 2022 and a foreign investment of 100 billion dollars or Rs 7 lakh crore will be made.