Telegram has introduced a new way to subscribe to its premium membership. To do this, however, users have to release their cell phone numbers and that could cost them dearly.

Telegram doesn't have the best reputation as a messenger service anyway. But now the platform has introduced a new option for premium membership that appears more than questionable in terms of data protection.

The messenger calls the new model peer-to-peer log-in program (P2PL). In the future, users will be able to earn their premium memberships. They don't pay any money for this, but they still pay a high price.

What’s Telegram’s P2PL all about?

Users who choose to participate in the peer-to-peer log-in program must share their mobile phone numbers. This in turn is then used to send login data via SMS.

If you want to log in to Telegram, you can use a so-called one-time PIN. This OTP is sent as an SMS to a mobile phone number and can then be used to log into the Telegram account.

This can be helpful, for example, if the password for the account has been lost. However, so far the OTP was only sent to the mobile phone number linked to the account.

However, according to Telegram, this method has not been completely reliable in the past. At this point P2PL should now support.

What does P2PL mean for users?

Like the online magazine AndroidAutorityreported, this new function will initially start in Indonesia, among other places. Sending an SMS involves high fees, which Telegram apparently wants to avoid using P2PL.

Because if users give their phone number for P2PL, they also have to pay the shipping costs for the SMS. This is also stated in the general terms and conditions for the program.

You acknowledge and agree that Telegram shall have no liability for any costs, expenses, damages or other adverse or otherwise unforeseen consequences that you may incur as a direct or indirect result of your current or previous participation in the P2PL Program.

In return, users each receive one month of premium membership. A maximum of 150 OTP SMS messages should be sent per month.

The problem with Telegram's new program

But it's not just domestic SMS that's possible with P2PL. Users who participate in the program could also fall into the trap of expensive international SMS.

Because this setting is preset when you participate in the program. Users who do not want this must deactivate the function by opting out in the settings.

But that's not the only pitfall of P2PL. Data protection in the program also raises questions.

The OTP SMSs are sent unencrypted via the participants’ cell phone numbers. In its terms and conditions, Telegram states that it cannot prevent “the OTP recipient from seeing your phone number when receiving your SMS”.

Therefore, you acknowledge and agree that you have considered all potential impacts this may entail and have taken the necessary precautions to mitigate them at your discretion.

Telegram will not be liable for any “inconvenience, annoyance or damage” resulting from “unwanted, unauthorized or illegal actions by users who have learned about your phone number through P2PL.”

Also interesting:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *