Apple Gives In To India's Demand For An Anti-Spam App

Lester Mason
November 15, 2017

Apple has submitted an option to develop the DND app over a new SMS spam feature developed on the latest version of company's platform iOS, sources involved in the discussion between Trai and Apple, said on the condition of anonymity.

The TRAI has been able to access this information - with user consent - on Android, which allowed it to develop an app for users to report spam calls and text messages.

An industry source told Reuters that Apple's main problem lay with the idea of a state-sponsored app having access to the call and text logs of an iPhone user.

An Apple spokesman confirmed to BuzzFeed News that a new iOS feature which lets third-party apps filter junk messages would help the regulator in building an iOS anti-spam app. The spokesman said Apple had not changed its stance on privacy.

U.S. mobile device major Apple is learnt to have given limited option to telecom regulator Trai for developing a Do-Not-Disturb app for iPhone users.

In early September Patently Apple posted a report titled "Apple Shuts out the India Government's Anti-Spam App in the Apple Store & the Government's Anger over it is Growing". "I hope good sense prevails upon them".

TRAI's anti-spam mobile application, also called Do Not Disturb, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times from the Google Android app section.

The TRAI maintains that its app does not raise any privacy concerns.

However, over the past few months, Apple flew several of its high-ranking executives into New Delhi to converse with the regulator, including its Senior Director for Global Privacy, Jane Horvath, in October.

At least seven meetings have been held between the two sides and dozens of emails exchanged since a year ago, according to government officials and documents reviewed by Reuters.

Apple has been trying to fight this off since past year. Facing criticism from the regulator, Apple finally chose to go ahead and help develop the app but only "with limited capabilities". "They've had meetings, meetings and meetings".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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