Govt. advisory against collecting mobile number of customers by retailers
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has recently issued an advisory directing retailers not to insist on the personal contact details of customers for providing certain services.
The Ministry Official has been quoted saying the following (as reported):
The advisory has been issued following several consumer complaints. Customers have complained about many retailers not providing them services if they refuse to share their contact number, the ministry’s spokesperson said. This is an unfair and restrictive trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act, and there is no rationality behind collecting the information,” the Secretary told reporters. There is also a privacy concern. Therefore, an advisory has been issued to the retail industry and industry chambers CII and FICCI to address this issue in the interest of consumers, he said.
It is not mandatory in India for customers to furnish their mobile numbers to a retailer to generate a bill. According to the Govt. collecting phone number falls under the collection of sensitive personal data, which includes ‘Mobile Numbers’ also.