More reports on: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Government policies, Telecom

Apple rejects Trai anti-spam app, says won't part with user data

08 September 2017

US smartphone giant Apple has opened a new front against Indian regulations challenging Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) diktat that the phone maker use an anti-spam app to protect users of its iPhone from pesky calls.

Appl's App Store has refused to approve an anti-spam app that Trai has developed while Trai claims that the phone maker has refused to share user data that iPhone users in India have on their phones.

According to Trai, Apple is refusing to approve its anti-spam app as it requires access to user data, including contacts, on the iPhones.

Apple now says that while it has all user data, the company's privacy policy does not allow it to reveal it in any form.

Apple also wants the government to follow its elaborate privacy guidelines that are part of its overall rules and conditions for developers in order to get its app approved.

These guidelines must be met before an app can get approval to be featured in the Apple iOS app store.

The Indian government is now in a piquant situation where a private company, that too a foreign one, claims to be the sole custodian of the privacy and personal data of its Indian users and the government is forced to fight over alleged breach of privacy of the buyers of its gadgets.

Apple hasn't publicly said anything but indications are that Apple believes the Trai app to be a privacy risk for its users.

"Nobody's asking Apple to violate its privacy policy," Trai chairman R S Sharma said. "It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user's data," Bloomber quoted the him as saying.

The Trai anti-spam app is already available for Android users. Although it may not meet all requirements, the app allows users to select a number or a message and then mark it as a SPAM so that Trai can take further action against the number.

Spam messages and spam calls in India are the bane of phone users in India and despite attempts by Trai, which maintains a `Do Not Disturb' directory, they continue to bother phone users in the country.

Many Indian smartphone users use apps like TrueCaller to manage such unsolicited calls. These, however, come with their own issues related to user privacy.

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