Why is Apple fighting with Indian govt over a mobile app? To protect your data; know the whole story

By: |
Updated: September 7, 2017 11:58:28 AM

Apple and TRAI (Telecom Regularity Authority of India) are at a war of words as the former has refused to approve the government's 'Do No Disturb' mobile application on its devices.

Apple India, Apple TRAI, TRAI, Apple app, DND App, Apple App store, Trai app, trai dnd app, anti spam app, Trai anti spam app, apple privacy policy, apple policy, telecom, apple telecom, telecom regulator, apple in india, apple ios, ios app, apple vs trai, apple vs india, apple indian governmentWith such war of words over the DND app, neither Apple nor the Telecom regulator seems to back out anytime soon. (Reuters)

Apple and TRAI (Telecom Regularity Authority of India) are at a war of words, as the former has refused to approve the government’s ‘Do No Disturb’ mobile application on its devices, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday. TRAI, for a long time, has been trying to include the anti-spam app in iOS devices, but all efforts have been unsuccessful so far. This mobile application called DND enables people to block calls and text messages after reporting them to the agency. While the app may be a good initiative to stop spammers, Apple is of the view that it violates its privacy policy.

Ram Sewak Sharma, chairman of the Trai told Bloomberg, “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.” The report added that such a standoff will affect Apple’s expansion plans in India. Apple has been investing a lot of efforts to get permissions and tax concessions from the government to set up plants and retail stores. So why is it that Apple is fighting the same government for a simple issue regarding an app?

Apple has always taken a major stand when it comes to its policies regarding privacy of its users. Apple is just not ready to agree with the Indian government when it comes to the DND app. But this is not a new thing with the tech giant. Earlier, in 2016, the company had a major tussle with the US government too. Apple had refused to help FBI even after being asked by a Federal judge. The issue was regarding unlocking an iPhone of one of the killers of the infamous San Bernandino, California attack where 14 people died.

When we look at Apple’s privacy policy, Tim Cook has said: “At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.” He adds, “Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements.”

But here is what he said most importantly: “Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

However, this stand by Apple did not go down well with the US earlier, and now the Indian government wants to battle it out. All attempts till now have failed. Trai has even tried to convince Apple by saying that the app only requires a ‘limited, pre-approved level of data sharing”.

But even though the app is present on Google Play Store, Apple is known to be strict while choosing apps for its app store. An Apple App Store review guideline says: “We will reject Apps for any content or behaviour that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, ‘I’ll know it when I see it.’ And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.

With such war of words over this issue, neither Apple nor the Telecom regulator seems to back out anytime soon.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.