Apple vs TRAI: Apple Refuses Adding TRAIs DND App on iOS Store

Apple Refuses Adding TRAIs DND App on iOS Store, Apple says that the app violates its privacy policy; the company hasn’t budged from its position on the matter even after half a dozen meetings with the agency.

Apple Refuses Adding TRAIs DND App on iOS Store

Apple Refuses Adding TRAIs DND App, Apple and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are fighting over the user data that iPhone users in India have on their phone. TRAI argues that no smartphone company should be a guardian of the user data of its smartphones and should share it with apps that require that data to function. Apple has indicated that it believed the TRAI app is a potential risk to its user’s privacy.

Bloomberg reports that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is unable to get its ‘Do Not Disturb’ tool into the App Store; it’s designed to crowdsource data about spam calls and messages, so as to help avoid unsolicited communication with telemarketers and the like. An Android version of the app is available on Google Play.

TRAI has an anti-spamming app which blocks the numbers reported by the users and then launches a strict action against the number. The app is readily available to Android users, albeit poor customer reviews. TRAI Chairman R S Sharma publically slammed Apple a few weeks ago and has now said, “Nobody’s asking Apple to violate its privacy policy. It is a ridiculous situation, no company can be allowed to be the guardian of a user’s data.”

Why Apple Denied TRAI’s DND App ?

Apple says that the app violates its privacy policy; the company hasn’t budged from its position on the matter even after half a dozen meetings with the agency. While the company says it’s concerned about keeping its users’ data private, it shares data with affiliates and partners.

Spam messages and calls are a usual trend in India and most of the users use TrueCaller app to manage spam. TRAI maintains a Do Not Disturb directory and uses its app to catch hold of more spam numbers. Apple has reportedly told TRAI that its app violates privacy policies that the company has for the app store. Sharma has said that this fight is not the government vs Apple but, Apple vs its users as the problem of who controls user data gets more prevalent than before. Recently, TRAI came out with a comprehensive paper on “data ownership” that it wants to be debated. In the paper, TRAI argues that the users should own their own data and should have a say on how their data can or should be used.

The idea of data ownership sounds good but in a nutshell, it is a double edged sword. On one hand, introducing data ownership will become the users the sole owners of their data and take a lot of power away from services such as Google, Facebook and more as they won’t be able to use the data the way want to. On the other hand, it can open to flood gates to weak data privacy as third party apps would just require a click of the ‘Accept’ button to access the desired information as an average user may not understand the jargon written in privacy policy documents.

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