“It’s a fight that is going on for some time. Apple, the maker of the iPhone, and TRAI, the agency that regulates telecom networks in India, are in middle of the bitter fight over the matter of SPAM calls and messages,” Javed Anwer reports for India Today. “Now, with a new regulatory policy TRAI has hinted that if Apple doesn’t step back and allow a TRAI app on the iPhone, it is possible that the agency may ask telecom companies like Airtel, Vodafone and Jio to delist and deregister the iPhone from their networks.”
“The issue is related to an app that TRAI has created,” Anwer reports. “The agency has made an app called DND — now called DND 2.0 after the latest update — but Apple has refused to allow this app in the iOS App Store. Apple believes that the TRAI app, because it seeks the call and message records of a user, is a privacy risk.”
“On Thursday, TRAI published a set of new regulations that mandates that all smartphone users in the country should be able to install the DND 2.0 app on their phones, whether they are using an iPhone or an Android phone. The directions, though are given to telecom companies and not the phone makers, who do not fall under the purview of TRAI,” Anwer reports. “If Apple continues to resist DND 2.0 app from TRAI, and not permit it entry in the iOS App Store, all the iPhones in India may lose access to 3G, 4G or even basic telecom networks.”
“While the TRAI directive looks stark, it is also possible that some middle ground will be found. Apple doesn’t want to dilute the kind of privacy — which is better than what Android phones offer to their users — that the iPhone users have. And the company is very clear that it cannot allow any app, even one created by a government agency to access call and message logs,” Anwer reports. “It is possible that the upcoming iOS 12 could be the middle ground. In the iOS 12, Apple has put in new features that use smart algorithms and machine learning to identify and block spam messages. It is possible that Apple may take an exception from TRAI and the Indian government for DND 2.0 by showing them that the iPhone already reduces spam with the iOS 12.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: 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.
Apple accused of ‘anti-consumer’ behavior by Indian regulator – August 8, 2017