The Truecaller application has been a breath of fresh air for many who just want irritating calls and text messages identified and blocked.
The caller-ID and call-blocking app has gained widespread popularity worldwide since it was released in 2009.
The Swedish-owned company behind the service, True Software Scandinavia AB, reports that it now has over three billion telephone numbers in its database and over 100 million Google Play Store downloads for its Android app alone.
The company is currently searching for offices in Africa given its popularity in the continent.
Truecaller's massive adoption in Nigeria could be partly blamed on the Nigerian Communication Commission's lack of will to stop spam callers and messagers in their tracks.
For those who don’t use the app, have you ever wondered how your telephone number is available on Truecaller despite you not having ever installed the app?
Even if just one person has your contact details on their phone's address book, with or without your permission, as soon as they install the Truecaller app, your contact details (name and number) gets added to the global Truecaller database.
Truecaller doesn’t immediately make your contact details, as a non-user, available but users can search based on your name. So as soon as you call any Truecaller user that does not have you as a contact on their phone, the app’s caller ID function will query the database and identify you, thus indirectly “unlocking” your identity.
But this is not the only method by which Truecaller collects people and organizations’ contact details as Ted Nelson, Chief Commercial Officer further explained to iAfrikan.
“We also gather, and organizes phone numbers from different sources including white and yellow pages across the world, and social media channels. Once the information is gathered, Truecaller runs it through different layers of verification (our proprietary algorithms) to make sure that the contact information we organize is accurate.”
Truecaller through various methods is able to integrate to various social media platforms and refine the data it already has uploaded on its contacts database. This can include things such as matching a name to a telephone number, uploading a profile photo, specifying a location, etc.