New Delhi — Union Minister of Communication, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Thursday said that the Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp has collaborated with the Centre’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to take action against users who employ potentially fraudulent methods to access the platform through mobile connections.
The government’s facial recognition-based artificial intelligence tool successfully identified these users. Vaishnaw further mentioned that the government is also engaged in cooperative efforts with other social media platforms in tackling such issues.
DoT has developed a tool named ASTR (Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification). This tool is designed to identify individuals who have registered more than the currently allowed maximum of nine mobile connections. Its purpose is to determine whether these connections have been established through legitimate methods, a report published in the Indian Express said.
According to Vaishnaw, there was an instance where 6,800 connections were obtained using the same subscriber image but with different names. Additionally, in another case, 5,300 connections were acquired using the same image with different names.
The Ministry of Communication conducted an analysis of over 87 crore mobile connections in the initial phase using ASTR. During this phase, it was discovered that over 40 lakh cases involved individuals using a single photograph to acquire multiple mobile connections. Following thorough verification processes, telecom operators terminated over 36 lakh connections.
Furthermore, the information regarding the deactivated numbers was shared with banks, payment wallets, and social media platforms to ensure the disassociation of these numbers from their respective platforms.