Apple Refuses to Approve Indian Regulator TRAI’s Anti-Spam App for iPhone

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 6 Sep 2017

Apple has refused an anti-spam app from the Indian government for the iPhone which has infuriated the country’s regulators. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) wants Apple to approve its Do Not Disturb app which will allow people to share details of spam calls and text messages with it.

Apple, however, has not approved the app despite repeated attempts from TRAI saying that it violates its privacy policy. Apple does not provide apps with access to one’s call logs and messages and the company is subjecting TRAI’s app to the same rules.

The rejection could spell trouble for Apple in India and could hinder its move to sell more products in the country.

“Nobody’s asking Apple to violate its privacy policy,” said Ram Sewak Sharma, chairman of the Delhi-based telecom regulator. “It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user’s data.”

Apple and Indian regulators have had over half-a-dozen meetings but the standoff between the two continues.

TRAI regulators did clarify to Bloomberg that this is not a battle between Apple and the Indian government. Instead, it is about giving users the choice to share their data with whoever they want.

“The problem of who controls user data is getting acute and we have to plug the loose ends,” Sharma said. “This is not the regulator versus Apple, but Apple versus its own users.”

TRAI has currently floated a consultative paper and is looking for comments on users’ control of their own data. The end result could impact not just Apple but also the likes of Facebook, Google, and other major tech companies in the world.

[Via Bloomberg]