The trending news right now remains that Apple has apparently refused to approve the Indian government’s anti-spam iPhone app. This is, in turn, is infuriating the regulators, placing a detrimental effect on the company’s efforts to sell more products in the country.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), has been trying hard to enlist the ‘Do Not Disturb’ software in the App Store. This app aids people to share spam call and text message logs the with agency, which uses the data to alert mobile operators to block the spammers.
This standoff would definitely pose a negative impact, where half a billion smartphones are scheduled to be sold by 2020. California-based company, the Cupertino, has increased talks and is seeking permission from the Indian government to open retail stores for selling imported iPhones in the country. For this, Apple has forwarded a long list of demands, enlisting tax breaks and other concessions, to build up manufacturing facilities.
The regulator is right now on the quest of public and stakeholder comments on a consultative paper on users’ control over their personal information and rules on the flow of data through telecommunications networks. This process, scheduled to be completed in September, could give rise to new rules conducting the user data. This could also form a part of the telecom licensing process, Sharma further added.
So right now, any new measure might affect not only Apple but also Facebook, Google and other technology companies that are involved with bulk amount of private and personal information.
Apple has shipped 2.5 million iPhones in India, and the previous part of this year has also witnessed supplier Wistron Corp. assembling a limited number of iPhones in Bangalore. Till now, Indian Government has not yet declined Apple’s request to import used iPhones but is yet to respond to other demands.
Sharma, who has previously banned Facebook’s Free Basics Internet access program the previous year, has still not come across any hardcore resolution, even after conducting half-a-dozen meetings with Apple. The hitch remains that even after Apple’s policy allows it to share user data with affiliates and strategic partners, the Indian government’s Do Not Disturb app only requires a limited, pre-approved level of data sharing. However, Apple still sticks to its policy of sharing data with no other entity.
Lastly, Sharma ended by saying that, “The problem of who controls user data is getting acute and we have to plug the loose ends.This is not the regulator versus Apple, but Apple versus its own users”.