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Truecaller : How safe is the App?

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Truecaller is a mobile application that was developed by True Software Scandinavia AB in 2009. It helps find details of mobile numbers that are either connected to the app, or if the users of the app have someone’s contact in their phonebook. Simply said, Truecaller is a mobile application which helps find the details of the owner of a mobile number. But many users also have a query – ‘is Truecaller safe to use now?’ Let’s take a look at the working of this app. 

How Does Truecaller Work?

The working of truecaller is simple – when a person downloads the application, the contact information gets stored in the truecaller database. This is how Truecaller creates its huge database of users as well as the information on the contacts stored in the phonebook. Truecaller uses the data to give information about unknown phone numbers, a feature known as Crowd-Sourcing.

How safe is the App 1

Once the information has been collected, Truecaller applies the machine learning feature to analyze the given data, correlates the contacts, and makes correlation in the given database. 

Is Truecaller Safe to Use?

Because of the extensive database and the ability to correlate contacts, the Truecaller app is under scrutiny for a lot of security concerns. Is Truecaller safe to use now? This can be deciphered by understanding what personal data the app collects, what permissions it needs from the users, and how this data is used. 

So How Safe is Truecaller App? 

On the Truecaller website, users can check out the privacy policy which outlines the use of private data, as well as the services being provided in exchange of the information. The personal data the app collects from users is the IP address, facebook profile, type of device the app is downloaded on, manufacturer of the device, the unique device ID, hardware settings, use of the SIM card, advertisement data, applications on the device, email ID, zip code, content being viewed on the device browser, IMSI, operating system, and details such as screen resolution. 

As you can see, Treucaller does invade into the device to a large extent, mining out information easily if the permissions are not checked. 

How safe is the App 2

The permissions the app can ask users for includes access to camera, location, microphone, SMS – both incoming and outgoing, storage – so the app can modify the content of the SD card, ability to scan and modify contact information, bluetooth access, ability to disable a lock screen, and more. 

The app also records the notepad or clipboard, meaning that anything that is typed on the clipboard (like passwords or card numbers), it can access that too. 

Trucaller is thus making money by accessing a lot of private information, user data as well as user behaviour, and then manipulating it for ad services, sharing data, and using the Truecaller for business features. 

The app makes a lot of profit through advertising with the help of customized ads experience. The app is able to show ads on the website as well as the mobile app, and also between the call history within the app. Ads can be avoided by using the premium version of the app, which can be purchased from the Play store or App store for Android or iOS respectively. 

Further, data is an essential commodity, and a lot of money can go into purchasing it. It is as good as currency in today’s day and age. Truecaller is able to mint huge amounts by selling user data to third party applications, websites, partners and developers. Infact, Truecaller can charge a huge amount of money to sell the number of a famous personality or public figure. 

Truecaller for business is another huge money maker. A company can list its number with Truecaller Business, and reduce the number’s spam score, which users can otherwise spam. The paid version of the app, available for $0.99 also gives users the details of persons who have searched a mobile number on the app. This version also removes all the ads. 

Truecaller Customer Care Number

The makers of the app have facilitated contact between the app and the users with the help of a toll free (India) number, as well as an email ID.

The truecaller toll free number is +1800 23 30 751, and the email ID where users can contact the app customer care can be accessed on the following page : https://support.truecaller.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

Further, Techthirsty also has a hack to protect personal data from the Truecaller database. With this hack, users can access all the features of the app, like accessing the details of all unknown numbers without having to share their own private data. 

The trick is to create a new account on Gmail, and use the details of that account to sign in and use the app. This email account should not be filled with any personal data like the phone number, or even pictures or important emails.

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Mahak Sharma
Mahak Sharma
Sharma is the Lead-Instructional Designer at Pen Pundit. She takes care of all academic projects acquired and undertaken by the company. In her free time, she will be found fighting for animal rights.

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