Apple to help India develop anti-spam app after face-off with regulator

“Apple Inc has agreed to give limited help to the Indian government to develop an anti-spam mobile application for its iOS platform, after refusing to do so based on privacy concerns, according to sources and documents seen by Reuters,” Aditya Kalra reports for Reuters. “The U.S. tech giant has been locked in a tussle with India’s telecoms regulator for more than a year.”

“Officials complained Apple dragged its feet on advising the government how to develop an app that would allow iPhone users to report unsolicited marketing texts or calls as spam,” Kalra reports. “The government app was launched on Google’s Android platform last year, but an industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said Apple pushed back on requests for an iOS version due to concerns that a government app with access to call and text logs could compromise its customers’ privacy.”

“Facing public criticism from the regulator, Apple executives flew to New Delhi last month and told officials the company would help develop the app, but only with limited capabilities, according to a government official aware of the matter,” Kalra reports. “Apple’s executives have told India that its current iOS platform might not allow for some of the government’s requests, such as making call logs available within the app that would allow users to report them as spam, the official said. ‘They (Apple) will help develop an app which, to an extent, can solve the requirements,’ said the official.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Thank Jobs that Apple, seemingly all alone most times, is standing up for users’ privacy!

As we wrote back in August:

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.

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


  1. Spammers are like the Hydra: chop off one head and nine others grow back. These guys come up with ways around regulation and software filters faster than they can be created. Block one number; who cares? They’ve got many more to use on you. Unsubscribe to a mail list you never subscribed to in the first place, and your address is bumped to a different list. “Hey, we unsubscribed you, just like you asked. All legal-beagle and everything, ” they say. Better tools? Yes, bring them on, but I wonder how a mobile phone handset manufacturer can be responsible for solving the greater problem of Spam factories.

  2. If their government actually wants to try to enforce against spammers more power to them. Our government doesn’t even bother to enforce against malware. A nice easy way to forward spam info to an app, and messages and message info to authorities should be safe if voluntarily forwarded by the user. I assume this is what Apple agreed to, and I wish our government would try to prosecute also. If there were actually consequences to spam, and especially malware, perhaps there wouldn’t be so much of it.

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