Apple has been engaged with a war in TRAI over reporting of spam calls in India. Apple refused TRAI’s Do Not Disturb app from its platform which will allow users to share details of spam calls and text messages with it.
Since Apple does not allow sharing of call logs and SMS with third-party apps, it rejected the app from TRAI from its App Store due to potential privacy risk. This led to a tiff between Apple and TRAI, with Apple even agreeing to work with the Indian regulatory body on its anti-spam app.
Since there has been no improvement in this regard, TRAI is looking to force Apple into complying with its wish by coming up with a new regulation. The new regulation from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) indicates that mobile network operators in the country will have to deregister iPhones from their network if Apple does not allow its DND app on the App Store.
The regulations mandate that any smartphone sold in India should be able to install its DND 2.0 app which can then be used by them to report spam calls and text messages.
“Every Access Provider shall ensure, within six months’ time, that all smart phone devices registered on its network support the permissions required for the functioning of such Apps as prescribed in the regulations 6(2)(e) and regulations 23(2)(d).
Provided that where such devices do not permit functioning of such Apps as prescribed in regulations 6(2)(e) and regulations 23(2)(d), Access Providers shall, on the order or direction of the Authority, derecognize such devices from their telecom networks.”
Apple is debuting a new Unwanted Communication extension in iOS 12 that will allow iOS users to report spam calls and text messages to third-party apps and services. The DND app from TRAI could hook up to this extension thereby offering the same functionality as they wish to offer without posing any privacy risk as well.
It is likely that we will see Apple and the Indian telecom regulatory body reach a consensus within the next few months before this new regulation goes live.