Apple Inc rushes to Trai over Do Not Disturb App inclusion in App Store

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Published: September 29, 2017 5:56:39 AM

Tech giant Apple has approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for more consultation on inclusion of the regulator’s Do Not Disturb (DND) application in its App Store.

Apple Inc, Apple Inc on DND app, Do Not Disturb App, App Store, Trai, Apple approaches Trai, telemarketers, telemarketing industry, RS SharmaApple had refused to add Trai’s DND app, which tracks spam calls and messages, in its app store. (Image: Reuters)

Tech giant Apple has approached the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) for more consultation on inclusion of the regulator’s Do Not Disturb (DND) application in its App Store. Sources in Trai told FE that Apple has sought time from the regulator for a meeting on the issue relating to the app. They also said the officials have been talking with the iPhone maker for over a year now. Though, Trai has not responded to Apple’s request, but the meeting is expected next month. The development comes after Trai hardened its stand following Apple’s refusal to add the DND app, which tracks spam calls and messages, in its app store and floated a consultation paper on privacy, security and ownership of data in the telecom sector. Apple had denied permission to the application as the app requires users to share personal information such as location, contacts, call logs, SMSs, etc, which is against the firm’s privacy policy. Trai had launched the DND app in May and it crowd sources information to identify telemarketers. The app assists a user in reporting spam SMSs and blocks pesky calls. Sources also said the development is in positive direction as it seems Apple is willing to talk with the regulator to find an amicable solution to the controversy.

On the issue of data privacy and mobile phones, Trai chairman RS Sharma had told FE, “We need to decide who is the owner of the data. Also, can the custodian of this data stop the owner from sharing his or her data with others? The main point which we want to discuss is the ownership of data and who has the final right on a user’s data?”

A senior government official, who has handled cyber security and privacy issues, said the app is just to track spam calls and messages and its but natural that it would seek access to a person’s call records and SMSs. “If users do no have problems sharing this information, then why should Apple worry? It is a small issue, which has been made to look as a serious thing. The government has time and again said that data is sacrosanct and it will ensure that there are no leaks,” he explained.

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