User Data Shock

Do you know how much data you are using on your smartphone? We got adblockers online but perhaps ads that use less data should get more airtime online on your smartphone, thereby making advertisers more data conscious?

Taking stock of the "serious problem" of automatic video downloads without consumers' knowledge, telecom regulator Trai today said it may come up with technological solutions to tackle these unsolicited online advertisements that lead to "data shock" for users, reports Times of India. "Let us see if we can do it without a consultation paper...whether we are able to come up with some technology solutions, which we will recommend," Trai Chairman R S Sharma said on the sidelines of a CII event. Yesterday, Trai had conducted a session in collaboration with IIT Hyderabad on the issue on "unsolicited downloads and background actioning of data" where officials of technology companies including Google and Facebook also participated, he said. 

Explaining the issue in detail, Sharma said, "When you visit a page there are videos running in the background and those videos are downloading data, and there are other kinds of advertisements also running." He said this was a serious problem as it leads to "data shock" with users consuming data without being aware of it. Besides technology solution, consumers also need to be made aware of options available to them to block the auto downloading of such videos, he added. "How can you switch off your background data...there are systems available on iOS and Android...there are setting where one can block the downloading of the background data...that awareness campaign can also be done," he said. Sharma indicated that Trai would prefer to take the route of technology tools and awareness, rather than regulation to overcome the problem.

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