TrapCall Caller ID Unmasker Forced to Shut Down in Canada Due to CRTC Pressure

This January, TrapCall debuted in Canada with its blocked call unmasking service, made available on our major carrier networks. Essentially the service allowed people to see the caller ID of any incoming call. Soon after though, TrapCall’s app disappeared from the App Store and the service wasn’t available anymore five months later.

Turns out the CRTC had some concerns with TrapCall’s service, as noted in the Globe and Mail. TrapCall claims the CRTC pressured the company to shut down its service in Canada, in which the latter claims was a privacy and safety issue:

Citing a growing need to safeguard subscriber information in the smartphone era, the CRTC is voicing concerns about this emerging issue. The regulator is worried TrapCall is just the first of many controversial apps that will make their way to Canada, including others that allow users to show a false caller identity (see below). Certain users, including victims of domestic violence, social workers and police, “could face threats to their safety” if their restricted caller information is revealed without their knowledge, the CRTC says.

TrapCall responded they feel wireless carriers in Canada and the CRTC would rather “stifle innovation” instead of offering Canadians and the marketplace what it wants:

“We would love nothing more than to be able to offer our services in Canada. The decision to stop supporting Canada was not completely ours,” but rather that of the CRTC, TelTech said in a statement. “It seemed they were more interested in protecting the identities of those individuals committing acts of harassment than helping victims on the other end of those calls.”

This is not the first time we’ve heard allegations the Canadian telecom industry is set to protect its incumbents and dampen innovation. Last November, WIND Mobile’s Egyptian backer Naguib Sawiris stated in an interview he regretted entering the ‘protected’ Canadian market.

In the case of TrapCall–do you think it’s a service worth having for customers, or should unblocking services be banned due to privacy concerns?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • This service should be mandatory for all carriers to use, why should a business or individual be anonymous when they are harassing you ? what the fuck CRTC i thought you were getting better not worse.

  • Kellie

    Given the fact that my sisters ex husband has freq threatened and harassed her which she ended up changing her number as a result and blocking it (they have a son together so there IS a reason for her to call him, or more specifically her son to call him) I think her right to protection is more valuable than just wanting to see who calls. It’s not just a matter of privacy, it’s a matter of safety as well. Good for them! She’s a true victim which this is the intention to protect!

  • Perry

    A couple of months ago I heard about this service. Now recently I’ve been gettig prank calls on my cell phone and now when I went to go signup for the service I find out its not available in Canada. Just my luck..

  • Al Kee

    What about the privacy of the person being harassed by an anonymous call? If you don’t want the person you are calling to know your identity, it is easy…don’t call them.

  • ????Dennis

    If he’s threatening and harassing her, then why is courts allowing her son to see the father. He sounds messed up. And if the son does have to call the father then she should go grab a pay as you go from 7 eleven.

    The CRTC have their heads up their asses., that’s all there is to it.

  • ourgovernmentsucks

    Maybe because the carriers charge money for this and don’t want to loose that revenue. Hello crtc we need to stop these guys from invading our cash cow. Okay we will threaten them now.

  • erik thiessen

    here’s an idea, why doesn’t someone come up with an app which will exclude numbers from calling you!!! so, if you don’t want blocked numbers, exclude them. if you don’t want your mother in law calling you, exclude her number. then, the phone will not ring or vibrate.

  • ThatGuy

    We should all have the choice. If you want to block your number, you have that choice. Why not have the choice to see who’s calling?

  • Zimer

    CRTC should keep their nose out of our business?!!!!

  • SlyRobber

    I think it has plainly been demonstrated that the CRT’s nose is firmly crammed up the service providers rectums. With them it’s to he’ll with what the customer wants or needs. I blame the corperatist conservative governement for this attitude.

    Sly

  • SlyRobber

    Damned CRTC is what I thought I wrote.

  • xxJDxx

    FREEDOM. the idea often seems to be forgotten or scared out of us in the name of some sort of vague “safety”.

  • nilro

    The CRTC is protecting the villains. Using spoofed calls is a favorite tactic of scammers and collection agencies in Canada. Why isn’t this tactic illegal? Telephone companies claim they can do nothing to stop it. Everyone should have access to protective devices if the authorities can’t or won’t protect their privacy. Spoofing telephone numbers certainly shouldn’t be legal or in any way protected.

  • Dave

    I noticed you did not update the post to include Reveal5 ?? I have been using them for a little over a month. Great TrapCall alternative for Canadians.

  • JimBobBillyBob

    I’m Canadian and sometimes I hate this fucking country!! CRTC is a fraud, who line their pockets with corporate dollars. Living here makes feel like I’m living in China (who’s communist by-the-way) where the CRTC blocks other corporations from competing in this country, not giving Canadians access to many Internet sites, and allowing the major 3 telecommunication corporations (Bell, Rogers and Telus) to jack up their rates several times a year for garbage service. I am seriously considering leaving Canada to never return.

  • NimaKaur4

    And people say we are free….we are constantly being controlled by the government. I am sick of being at the mercy of what the government THINKS is acceptable and what is not. Some person has the right to block their number and harass me, but I dont have the right to find out who they are and report them for harassment?? Right. The CRTC can suck shyte.

  • We need to write the CRTC, their position protects both those who need privacy legitimately and those who abuse the technology to stalk or harass. That’s not acceptable.

  • Rick

    They were awesome!

  • nolengreenspan

    We are very free, and we should be thankful that we live in a country with watchdogs that help to secure us. Yes, sometimes this security may impede on our civil liberties, but would you prefer that I know every phone call and text message and email and every porn site that you have patronized? BTW, your statement is false and misleading. Any and every phone call that comes in to your phone number or mobile phone is always tracked (unlisted or not!) We all have every right and a proper method to make the authorities aware of this wrongdoing. We may not be able to see the number, but we do have the method to report the call, and the authorities have the access to obtain this information.

  • nolengreenspan

    do it! you dont deserve this country

  • nolengreenspan

    ..

  • Shay

    there is another service availble in Canada