These days a new rift has been hovering around the telecom industry. To delve deep, US technology honcho Apple Inc and India’s telecom regulator are right now at loggerheads regarding the development of a government antispam mobile application. The main cause of the rift is user privacy of the app and thus leading to the deepening of the rift between the two sides.

To look back, Apple, in October has agreed to provide some help to the regulator to tap into a new iOS features to build a certain “Do Not Disturb” app, and this allows users to report the unsolicited calls and text messages as spam. So, to this, Apple’s version sounded like allowing the app broad access to customers’ call and text logs that could compromise with the privacy.


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The arguments are the latest instances of the challenges faced by global technology players, who often need to balance between user privacy while handling requests from governments and regulators regarding the access to content on devices. For example, it was in July, when Apple removed those apps from its Chinese App Store that has helped users browse the Internet privately in lieu of a new cybersecurity law.

As per sources, in India, despite October’s agreement, the two sides have not met since November. Also, the Indian regulator told Apple in January that it was still waiting for “basic clarifications” on what exactly can the iOS version of its app offer.

Apple also added that the government app “as envisioned violates the privacy policy” of its App Store. Further, Apple also stated that 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 RS Sharma, who in his defense regarded that he would consult his legal team on how Apple could be pushed to help develop the app more swiftly.