India’s telecoms regulator Trai reportedly plans to consult industry experts to see if it needs to step in and regulate automatic downloads of video ads onto mobile devices.
According to the Economic Times of India, Trai will hold a seminar in Hyderabad next week to explore concerns that unsolicited video ads are being automatically downloaded to devices without the user’s knowledge – a practice that could also clandestinely eat up their data packages and lead to higher bills.
Trai will seek input from industry experts, telcos and internet/social media companies to examine whether this is a big enough problem for consumers that it warrants regulations or best practices.
A Trai official clarified to the Economic Times that the independent regulator is only concerned about transparency, not the content itself:
“It is about the non-transparent way in which data usage is happening. At about 20-30 paise per MB, data is expensive. So the issue needs to be examined,” said the official.
“We want to understand how much data is being consumed by these ads, what can users do to stop them, do the sites allow users the option to stop the ads, is there an upper limit which ensures that data usage should not go beyond a certain level,” the official said.