Apple is under pressure from India’s telecom regulator to add a government anti-spam mobile application to its App Store, in the latest manifestation of tensions over digital privacy between the two parties involved.
TRAI’s Do Not Disturb app functions like a state-sponsored Truecaller service, allowing users to block Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC), telemarketing calls, and spam SMSes. People have to register their number with the tool, after which spam calls and messages they receive are shared with the agency to speed up detection of unregistered telemarketers.
“The problem of who controls user data is getting acute and we have to plug the loose ends,” Sharma said. “This is not the regulator versus Apple, but Apple versus its own users.”