Indian Telecom Regulator Accuses Apple of Being “Anti-Consumer”

Apple has recently faced criticism from India’s telecom regulator TRAI, who has accused the company of engaging in “data colonization” and being “anti-consumer.”

According to a new report from the Times of India, TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma has accused Apple of being anti-consumer by not allowing TRAI’s Do Not Disturb app on the App Store.

The application allows users to set a “Do Not Disturb” status to block calls from registered telemarketers. The app also features an intelligent spam detection engine for SMS and a status field for actions taken against complaints within the application itself.

“While Google’s Android supports our Do-Not-Disturb (DND) app, Apple has just been discussing, discussing, and discussing. They have not done anything,” Sharma told Times of India.

Frustrated with Apple’s refusal to allow the app on its platform, Sharma said the company’s actions are “anti-consumer,” arguing they strip Apple users of their freedom to decide what to do with their data, and leave them vulnerable to unwanted calls and texts.

“So basically you [Apple] are violating the right of the user to willingly share his/her own data with the regulator or with any third party of his/her choice,” Sharma said. “If a customer wants to share financial transaction data with his/her bank, for getting a loan, why should it not be allowed? This is what we call data colonization.”

India is becoming an increasingly important market for Apple, with more citizens using iPhones than ever before. Plus, Apple isn’t one to remain stubborn if it sees reason. In China, another important market for the company, Apple last month took VPN apps off the Chinese App Store in accordance with local regulations requiring it do so.