Trai’s `Do-Not-Disturb’ app finally gets into Apple App Store

03 Dec 2018


Apple has finally put a spam-filtering app ‘Do Not Disturb’ on its iOS App Store, months after regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) threatened to ban iPhones, if the firm did not approve the app by January 2019.

The app, called ‘Trai DND-Do Not Disturb’, is intended to help Indian users curb unsolicited marketing phone calls and text messages, an issue that has become hugely problematic in the past few years.
The Trai DND - Do Not Disturb app can now be downloaded by iPhone users in India. The app will allow users to report telemarketing calls and messages. The app not only will help users report unwanted calls or messages to their respective telecom service providers but will also help identify telemarketing callers that haven't registered themselves.
The new Trai DND app has two major functions - users can register their mobile number under DND (Do Not Disturb) using this app and second is reporting spam calls/ SMS after DND registration.
"Registration of mobile number under DND (Do-Not-Register) will take up to 07 days after putting the request with respective telecom service provider (TSP)," the according to the Apple App Store listing. 
On how the app will report calls/ SMS on the users’ iPhone, the Trai DND app will auto-create complaint registration message to send to respective telecom service provider. The complaint registration SMS will be sent to toll free number 1909 once the user checks the content of the message. Users will also have to write additional feedback for better understanding of the reported number.
"Trai DND App will not block any SMS/Calls from authentic businesses/entities that you have subscribed too, eg, bank, food delivery apps, travel/taxi apps etc. However, user will be responsible for any loss occurred if they report these Call/SMS," the App Store listing adds.
To register for DND, users will have to complete three steps before they can start reporting spam calls/ messages.  
Step 1 will be to sign-up for DND when users will be asked for what messages they wish to continue getting for example from banks or health firms.  
Step 2 will be enabling the DND extension on the user’s iPhone, for which, users will have to go to their settings on iPhone and select Phone > Select SMS/ Call reporting; Select DND and click enable.
Step 3 will be enabling the extension for reporting calls, for which users will have to go to phone app on the iPhone, right swipe on a number and select report button to report spam. 
To report SMS, go to the message app and users will then have to select the message and tap Report Message at the bottom of the message content. 
Unwanted calls were tackled with Trai initial release of DND which Google allowed in its Google Play Store back in 2016. However, Cupertino-based Apple wouldn’t allow the app to be released to iOS users, citing privacy concerns, though it agreed to cooperate on a version of the app that wouldn’t share a user’s call or message logs with Indian authorities.
It was not clear, if the current version of ‘Trai DND-Do Not Disturb’ app released in the Apple App Store implements additional privacy protections beyond what was originally devised by the Trai.
The registration process appears to leverage the SMS/Call Reporting framework.

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