“For almost two years, Apple has battled India’s telecom regulator over a demand that it allow the use of the government’s anti-spam app,” Sankalp Phartiyal and Aditya Kalra report for Reuters. “Non-compliance, the watchdog threatened last month, could result in phones being ‘derecognized’ from the country’s networks, meaning they would no longer function.”

“At the heart of its latest tussle with the government is India’s pervasive problem with spam and nuisance calls – one the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is trying to counter with an app that it wants all phone makers to install,” Phartiyal and Kalra report. “The app has been available on the Android store since 2016, but Apple in March told Reuters that TRAI’s app ‘as envisioned violates the privacy policy of the App Store.’ The new version of its iPhone operating system, expected in autumn, will allow many of the app’s functions but not fully automatic spam filtering as that functionality could open the door to Apple users being tracked by third parties, Apple said in a letter to regulators.”

“TRAI, however, last month notified Indian telecom firms it could give them six months notice to ‘derecognize’ devices from their networks if the devices do not support anti-spam apps that are approved by the government,” Phartiyal and Kalra report. “In the letter, dated June 18 and responding to a draft of the proposed notification, Apple asked for the clause about derecognition to be dropped. ‘We look forward to working with TRAI to address the issue of unsolicited commercial communications, while simultaneously ensuring that we fully honor our commitment to protect the privacy and security of our users,’ Apple’s head of public policy in India, Kulin Sanghvi, wrote in the letter which was seen by Reuters.”

“The Indian Cellular Association has also come out in opposition to the regulator’s move,” Phartiyal and Kalra report. “Asked by Reuters to respond to Apple’s request to drop the derecognition threat, TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma said the notification could not be quashed or challenged by writing a letter. ‘The most appropriate way to challenge this is in court,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple should stand their ground on this or the dominoes will start tumbling in countries the world over as government clowns like R.S. Sharma begin mandating privacy-trampling, insecure government-made crapps be preinstalled in order for Apple to be allowed to sell functioning devices.

TRIA bureaucrats clearly do not understand how iOS works or why it’s important for Apple to protect users’ privacy. If users want to share phone numbers and other sources to block, then they can do so on their own. No third-party app should be able to access such data willy-nilly. It’s blatantly insecure – which is why it’s no problem for Google to allow TRAI’s privacy-trampling POS in their Android store and also why Apple will never allow it in the App Store.MacDailyNews, July 20, 2018

India may ban iPhone if Apple keeps fighting TRAI by not allowing DND App in iOS Store – July 20, 2018
Apple accused of ‘anti-consumer’ behavior by Indian regulator – August 8, 2017
Apple’s refusal to approve India’s anti-spam app angers regulators – September 6, 2017
Apple accused of ‘anti-consumer’ behavior by Indian regulator – August 8, 2017