No. Truecaller is not a Chinese but a Swedish company. Many people were hopeful about banning Truecaller as India banned hundreds of Apps.
Even the way how Truecaller works is so concerning that most tech-savvy people look at it as an epicenter of data privacy invasion.
Reason? It doesn’t matter whether you are using that app or never installed it to date. Your data is with them and you simply cannot do anything about it.
Worst part? It’s a monopoly.
I am sure most of my readers here are already using TrueCaller. Yes, I am talking about the same mobile application on your phone which tells the name and details of unknown numbers.
I am sure you must be surprised when you got the name of an unknown number. It immediately flashes the spam numbers and blocks them automatically. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
But ever wondered how Truecaller works? How does it come to know about all the numbers and their approximate details?
This is how Truecaller works
Truecaller works on the concept of crowd-sourcing. It works on the give-and-take mechanism from its users.
You give all the data to the company and it will give you access to its exclusive database.
Apparently, it stores all your data on its cloud servers. When someone demands that data, it instantly fetches from the servers.
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The working of Truecaller is quite simple. It is a modern directory of call logs.
For better understanding with an example.
Let’s assume that all of us have the Truecaller app installed on our phones.
Let’s say you saved my number as Pritesh. Someone else saved my name as Pritesh Pawar. My cousin saved my name as Pritesh Bhaiyya. My junior saved my name as Pritesh Sir. Someone else saved it as P2.
Whenever I will call some person who has not saved my number, the Truecaller will extract the data from all my contacts’ phones and show him that this person is Pritesh. Although this is not very accurate, it is getting better and better every day.
This clearly shows that you don’t even need to install the app for your details to surface on their servers. It automatically fetches your details from your friends’ smartphones.
But how is Truecaller able to take my data?
You gave permissions. If you check in your phone settings, these are the permissions that you gave to Truecaller.
This app easily gets all your contact details from these sources.
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What data does Truecaller get from me?
On their website, they have clearly mentioned what kind of data this app extracts from your phone. Probably, most of us never check that. But this is a glimpse of what Truecaller gets from your phone:
- Your location
- Your IP Address
- Device ID, manufacturer & type, and hardware settings
- SIM card usage and Operator
- Apps on your phone
- The operating system, Web browsers
- Connection information
- Screen resolution
- Usage statistics
- Default communication applications like your Phone calling app
- Address book and call/SMS logs (obviously)
m uchother information based on how you are using it
Did you just creep out? Well, this is just on the surface level. Read all the privacy policies of Truecaller.
Isn’t this is a breach of my privacy? What should I do?
It is all about comfort vs privacy. They have mentioned it clearly in their Terms and conditions.
You can still use Truecaller for the features it is providing you. It is all personal.
But if you want to remove your details or you don’t want to show your name to people, just unlist your name from their website.
Follow this link to do so: Unlist my phone number from Truecaller
Warning: Removing yourself from the website won’t allow you to access their data as well. So, you won’t be able to know who is calling you.
Is there any alternative to Truecaller?
No. Truecaller is having its monopoly because of the fact that it has the biggest database. An app needs more and more data to operate like Truecaller. In short, there is no better alternative now.
However, I feel only Google can replace Truecaller. After all, Google has equivalent or probably more data than Truecaller. Android can have an in-built system for the same features. In fact, Android 11 has some of these features like spam block.
I’d personally trust Google more as Truecaller always had some shady earning techniques. Want to know about the business model of Truecaller?
Check out | How Truecaller Makes Money?
Using data for their own system to serve better Ads is still better than selling the whole database to some 3rd party companies.
Note: This article is based on Internet research and news articles. The information may or may not be accurate.