Microsoft is using blockchain technology to curb spam calls in India

If you thought the blockchain was completely useless as technology, Microsoft is out to prove you're wrong.

The technology giant has partnered with Tech Mahindra, a leading IT solutions provider, to address spam calls using blockchain technology in India, reports Hindustan Times.

The solution was built on the Microsoft Azure platform and will also use cloud services, even if the exact technical or product map has not yet been revealed.

"The intersection of Cloud and Blockchain will ensure a new way to monitor and enforce compliance across the ecosystem," said Prashant Shukla, Microsoft India's national technical manager at a press conference. "With a solution powered by Microsoft Azure Blockchain, we will make sure to mitigate the flaws used by scammers and spammers to reach end users."

The platform will presumably lead all stakeholders in the same ecosystem, including all telecom operators, legal authorities, users and even telemarketing operators. The ecosystem is expected to get users' consent and their preferences for marketing communications are easier.

"… [The] solution will be a shared and protected ledger of the UCC [ unsolicited commercial communication ] distributed in a computer network," said Tech Mahindra in a press release. "[This] will guarantee a transparent and verifiable system to help companies mitigate UCC on their networks."

Microsoft's announcement came just a month after TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) ordered all telecommunications operators to use blockchain technology to curb the threat of spam calls.

Tech Mahindra and Microsoft hope that operators will not have to worry about developing their solutions now, since their product will be sufficient for them to comply with the new TRAI regulations.

According to the new rules, the consent of the user must be explicitly registered on the blockchain to receive marketing calls. Users should also be able to revoke their consent whenever they wish. If an operator does not comply with the rules, he risks having to pay a penalty of up to 500 Indian Rupees ($ 7.136 approximately ) per month.

Microsoft is quite ambitious when it comes to blockchain projects. The technology giant announced a blockchain-based digital identity management solution in February of this year. In June, he announced another blockchain project to manage author rights and loyalty.

It is worth noting that there are no updates on either project. We do not know if the blockchain has proved useful in the management of digital identities or author rights. But this time, there is a deadline for telecommunications operators to comply with regulations.

This means we could finally see a prototype of one of Microsoft's ambitious blockchain products.

Published 27 August 2018 – 14:46 UTC

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