Are you among the scores of UAE residents whose phones are displaying the names of callers even though you haven't saved their contact details? Residents have said they see companies' names when getting calls from random mobile or landline numbers.
Well, you are seeing the identity of the callers thanks to a new service called 'Kashif' that was activated by the Telecommunications and the Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) earlier this year.
Kashif, which means 'revealer' in Arabic, gives residents the power to choose whether or not they want to answer a call. Your phones will reveal where a call originates from, whether from a bank promoting personal loans or a telecommunication company looking to sell new plans.
The aim is to reduce the number of anonymous calls residents receive.
The service was first trialled with the banking sector in May last year and has now been implemented. Other sectors like health, hospitality and education are being brought under it as well. By the end of this year, it will be applied to all private sector companies whose mobile and landline numbers are registered.
A word of caution, though: as always, do not reveal any banking information like account numbers, PIN codes or passwords, whether you know the identity of your caller or not.
"This feature is the first line of identifying the calling party. Customers must abide by the directives of competent authorities regarding not revealing their personal information," the TDRA had said earlier.
Residents have hailed the new service, calling it a "great security feature".
Sonia S, a resident of Ras Al Khaimah, is among the thousands of residents who hate cold calls.
"It really does help to know who is calling. Earlier, on receiving calls from banks or other advertisers, I would just cut the call. It is rude as I know they are doing their jobs, but I just hate random calls. Now, I just don't answer the calls."
In October last year, the Dubai Economy said it had received 753 complaints against "annoying" promotional calls in five months.
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