PTA to Implement New System to Block Spam SMS From July

Work on the policy of blocking unwanted marketing SMS has started under the directive of Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has introduced a system that prevents marketing SMSes from being sent to customers without their consent. Mobile phone operators and telemarketing companies will start implementing this new system from 1 July onward.

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The new system entails the preparation of two types of lists to help mobile users avert marketing SMSes. One list will be compiled for users who want SMS marketing and another will be compiled for those who dislike promotional SMSes.

The PTA announced that mobile phone operators and telemarketers will introduce an opt-in and opt-out system on 1 July. With a link to opt-out at the end of each marketing message, a customer will be able to put themself on the SMS marketing block list. Marketing SMSes will only be sent only to customers who are on the opt-in list.

It added that a list containing the letters and numbers of telemarketers will be prepared. All mobile phone operators have been asked to submit the list to the PTA by 21 June.

The Advisor to the PM on Strategic Reforms, Salman Sufi, contacted the Chairman PTA on 4 June and they discussed the protection of the data of mobile phone users and messages sent by marketers.

Sufi informed the Chairman of the premier’s instructions for the immediate review of the privacy laws concerning citizens and the unfavorable and unwanted messages sent by the marketers.

PTA officials say work on a policy to block promotional SMSes has commenced in accordance with the PM’s instructions.