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Consider ourselves flagbearers of data security, Truecaller

Swedish caller identification app Truecaller upholds the principles of data security, and is fully supportive of efforts around data protection regulations in India as well as other markets it operates in, a top executive has said.

Rishit Jhunjhunwala, chief product officer and managing director, India at Truecaller told PTI that the company’s proactive moves in the past on data localisation and data minimisation are testimony to the stance of prioritising information security “not just in words but in actions”.

“I can go to the extent of saying…I believe that we are flagbearers of data privacy, and any sort of data security for our users,” Jhunjhunwala said.

The company moved swiftly on data localisation “voluntarily” and does not “hide” behind voluminous pages of user terms and conditions and privacy policy.

“We have done a lot of outreach over the past few years and corrected a lot of misconceptions about Truecaller. I think the narrative has changed from what it used to be earlier,” Jhunjhunwala added.

On the recent withdrawal of the draft data protection bill, and the government’s plans to replace it with a comprehensive framework in form of a new regulation, the top executive said the company remains supportive of data protection regulations in India and all regions where it operates.

“While the India data protection bill was withdrawn, reports suggest that a new one will soon be ready…We have achieved 100 per cent data localisation of Indian users’ data many years ago (no foreign mirrors or backups) and we will also comply with other provisions of the new bill to offer the best possible privacy features and spam protection to our users,” he said.

Headquartered in Stockholm, the company globally employs 350 people and India accounts for a majority of that workforce.

Asked if the company is looking to expand its operations in India with more facilities, Jhunjhunwala said Truecaller is “extremely focused” on continuing to invest in the country.

Truecaller is optimistic about India prospects, he noted.

“As in the past, we will continue in the same manner, in a few different ways. One is a lot of the product development continues to take place here because we do solve India specific problems, that context is much better here. And…Stockholm being our headquarters solves some of the larger global problems that exist,” he said.

The company also sees healthy user base growth and revenue growth in India and “will constantly continue to grow in India along with our user base and deliveries.” India is the biggest market for the smartphone application company, and its monthly active users (MAU) here stood at 235.5 million at the end of the June 2022 quarter. The MAU rose 14 per cent as compared to 206.4 million in the year-ago period.

“We are growing rapidly in many parts of the world and are seeing the strongest MAU trends in India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and Colombia,” Truecaller’s Chief Executive Officer Alan Mamedi said in the company’s Q2 2022 report. PTI

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