TRAI to take legal action against Apple over development of anti-spam app

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 28 Mar 2018
HIGHLIGHTS

The DND app from TRAI requires permission to access call logs, contacts and texts which is a violation of Apple's privacy policies.

TRAI to take legal action against Apple over development of anti-spam app

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Apple is at loggerheads with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) over the development of a “Do Not Disturb” app for iOS devices. Apple had earlier agreed to work with TRAI to develop the anti-spam app that is already available for Android devices. The app allows users to block unsolicited marketing calls by giving the app the permission to monitor calls and text messages.

That very permission is a violation of Apple’s privacy policies which does not allow apps and services to access initimate information stored on iOS devices.

As per a Reuters report, Apple and TRAI have not met since November and TRAI told the Cupertino giant that it was still waiting for “basic clarifications” in January.

According to Apple, allowing TRAI to access calls and text messages will compromise on user’s privacy. The company has stated that it is working with government engineers to help design that does not breach its privacy policies.

In retaliation to Apple’s statement, R.S. Sharma, the head of TRAI now plans to consult a legal team to speed up the app development. “We will take appropriate legal action,” Sharma told Reuters. “This is unjust, it shows the approach and attitude of this company.”

The Do Not Disturb app, developed by TRAI for Android in 2016 asks users to grant permissions to view calls and texts. These permissions are then used to report calls and texts as spam. Earlier, TRAI was planning to port the same Android app to iOS devices as well but Apple stated it would not allow a third-party app to selectively access contacts, see call logs and text messages. Giving such access will be a violation of user’s privacy, data and security.

The deadlock comes at the time when Apple is trying to get more deeply involved with the Indian smartphone market. Now the second largest market for phones globally, Apple has been planning to expand local manufacturing and open exclusive retail stores in India.

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