Apple accused of ‘anti-consumer’ behavior by Indian regulator

“Telecom regulator TRAI [Telecom Regulatory Authority of India] has accused iPhone maker Apple of engaging in ‘data colonisation’ in India and being ‘anti-consumer’ by not allowing customers to pass on details about pesky calls and unwanted messages to authorities as well as their mobile operators,” Pankaj Doval reports for The Times of India.

“The matter has remained unresolved over the last one year and has now led to an attack on the American electronics giant by R S Sharma, chairman of Trai,” Doval reports. “‘While Google’s Android supports our Do-Not-Disturb (DND) app, Apple has just been discussing, discussing, and discussing. They have not done anything,’ Sharma told TOI.”

“The app has the capability to procure SMS details and call records of an individual from the phone’s messages column and call-log records. This would enable a customer to report the number sending unsolicited messages or making pesky calls straight to Trai from the app, following which action could be taken,” Doval reports. “However, Apple has not allowed such a convergence on its iOS platform, leading customers of the premium device maker exasperated. ‘So basically you (Apple) are violating the right of the user to willingly share his/her own data with the regulator or with any third party of his/her choice. If a customer wants to share financial transaction data with his/her bank, for getting a loan, why should it not be allowed?’ Sharma said, adding, ‘This is what we call data colonisation.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: TRIA bureaucrat R S Sharma clearly doesn’t 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 in Android and also why Apple will never allow it.


  1. I guess this is one area Apple’s overprotective security policies are raising issues of data ownership and the rights and option to share personal generated data with 3rd parties.

  2. “The app has the capability to procure SMS details and call records of an individual from the phone’s messages column and call-log records”

    Seems like a surreptitious way for the gov’t to use the info for other purposes. Pretend it’s for something good, those “pesky calls and unwanted messages”, then use it for something not so good, like invading a users’ privacy.

  3. Oh, the irony of Apple being accused of anti-consumer behavior by a government who’s policies have been anti-consumer and served to maintain the impoverishment of its population since the country’s inception 70 years ago.

  4. You the consumer, knowing full well the issue, buy an iPhone and now it’s Apple’s fault for impinging on your rights? Nobody held a gun to your head, did they? That’s your own right that you willingly compromised on when you made your choice. Go have a nice Shake Shack burger and take a selfie while you’re at it.

  5. What a blatant lie by the Indian Govt Spokesperson Mr Sharma. If if people want to block unsolicited calls they can use the block call function on Iphone, or use favourites function to get calls wanted and block the other sales call. If the Indian govt is so concerned about the nuisance sales calls, then they should go after the companies that do these crank calls and bann them legally, and make it an offence to make such calls. Stupid govt here, and Apple should not yeild to the Indian govt pressure, Indians can have Android phones and Apple should stay away from India, its not worth it

  6. India craziness.

    Nothing is stopping anyone anywhere from reporting iPhone robo-rat scam calls to anybody. This is mere bitching about an app that collects user data with potentially detrimental effects.

    As a US citizen, look what I found!

    How to Report Illegal Telemarketing and Robocalls in the U.S.

    Oh but darn! There’s nothing equivalent in India! So all the data has to go to the app developer Trai! Doesn’t that just suck.

    Keep up the good work Apple!

    Grow up and catch up Indian government!

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