So he installed it on his phone, while he was installing on his phone, he got a prompt that it will read the address book from the phone and add to its database.
Later he told me that the app installed on phone is just copying phone number and name saved onto an online directory accessible to public worldwide.
TrueCaller, a popular app built by a Swedish company, lets users look up the owner of a phone number. So if you get a missed call from a number you do not identify, you can search on the TrueCaller app or its website to see the owner of that number. However, every time a user downloads the app, and enables a function called ‘Enhanced Search’, it asks your permission to “securely send your phone book contacts to our servers”.
How does it work?
Partly public directories, partly by harvesting the phone books of millions of users who download the TrueCaller app. So even if you didn’t agree, your number might be on the True Caller database because a friend downloaded the app. Has 1.6 million Indian users.
How to get your name unlisted from the TrueCaller?
Find out if your number is part of the database on Truecaller.com. Use the unlist option at the bottom of the website to remove your number. App’s Database a Giant, Collective Phone Book
When the user grants permission to “securely send phone book contacts to our servers”, the app harvests the phone’s contact list.
What the app doesn’t tell you, unless you read the detailed terms of service, is that these numbers then become part of a publicly searchable database. So every time a user downloads the app, his entire phone book becomes part of a public database without the consent of the people who own those numbers. The app’s database, essentially, is a giant, collective phone book.
“Mobile phone numbers are not meant to be publicly accessible. It can reach you at a place and time inconvenient to you, so it risks invading your privacy. And when it is not voluntary, like in this case, it is clearly a problem.”
Using Unlist service on the website I have removed my own as well as some friends and relatives number. You can also log onto that website and remove the public listing of your friends and family by clicking on the unlist at the very bottom of the website.