Apple Inc and india telecoms regulator at loggerheads over government anti-spam App

Vastavam web: U.S. technology giant Apple Inc and India’s telecoms regulator are at loggerheads over the development of a government anti-spam mobile application, with user privacy at the heart of a deepening rift between the two sides.The latest impasse comes after Apple in October agreed to provide some help to the regulator to tap into new iOS features to build the “Do Not Disturb” app, which allows users to report unsolicited calls and text messages as spam.

The arguments are the latest example of challenges faced by global technology players, who often need to balance user privacy while handling requests from governments and regulators around access to content on devices. In July, Apple removed apps from its Chinese App Store that helped users browse the Internet privately in order to comply with a new cyber security law.

Apple told last week the government app “as envisioned violates the privacy policy” of its App Store. Apple said it had been working with government engineers and would “continue discussing ways they can design their app to keep users’ personal data safe”.Apple’s stance, though, has irked the head of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), R.S. Sharma, who says he will consult his legal team on how Apple could be pushed to help develop the application more swiftly.

Apple did not comment on Sharma’s remarks, but said that it shared TRAI’s goal of protecting customers from unwanted calls and messages.