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Truecaller: Essential, Evil, or Both?

Truecaller: Essential, Evil, or Both?

Truecaller is one of the most popular smartphone apps in India and various parts of the world. It identifies unknown numbers using a crowdsourced database. This helps you reject spam calls easily but the way the app built its database has us worried about privacy concerns.

Regular Truecaller user Rohan Naravane, former user Gagan Gupta, and sceptic Rishi Alwani join host Pranay Parab to discuss the privacy versus convenience aspect of the app. We start by listing the various aspects of this debate, with us highlighting why it’s useful and why we’re worried about privacy issues.

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Rohan starts off by letting us know why he pays for Truecaller’s monthly subscription fee. He shares a few anecdotes about the times when Truecaller has saved him from harassment by spam callers and why he continues to find the service useful.

Gagan then tells us why he stopped using Truecaller and Pranay shares an anecdote where the app had a bit too much information about one of his family members. Rishi shares his experience with Trai’s do-not-disturb registry and how effective that has been for him.

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Pranay complains about SMS spam, and Rohan offers a helpful suggestion - an app made by the makers of Truecaller. The episode goes to and fro between tinfoil hat conspiracy theories to practical suggestions for improving Truecaller. We conclude the episode by sharing some tips to avoid spam calls and messages without using Truecaller.

That's all for this week's episode of Orbital, which you can subscribe to via iTunes or RSS, or just hit the play button below.

 

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