Apple and India’s TRAI still butting heads over privacy issues

Apple and the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI), India’s telecoms regulator are battling over the development of a government anti-spam mobile application, with user privacy at the heart of a “deepening rift between the two sides,” according to Reuters.

In October the tech giant 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. However, Apple argues that allowing the app broad access to customers’ call and text logs could compromise privacy.

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The TRAI told Apple in January it was still waiting for “basic clarifications” on what exactly can the iOS version of its app offer, according to a government source with direct knowledge and an email exchange seen by Reuters. the Cupertino, California-based company told Reuters 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.”

The TRAI has been trying unsuccessfully (so far) to get its Do Not Disturb software included in the Apple App Store. The app lets people share spam call and text message logs with the agency, which uses the data to alert mobile operators to block the spammers.