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  Business   Companies  10 Aug 2017  Apple's stance on DND app issue unreasonable: Trai chief

Apple's stance on DND app issue unreasonable: Trai chief

Published : Aug 10, 2017, 8:16 pm IST
Updated : Aug 10, 2017, 8:16 pm IST

Trai has an ongoing tussle with Apple for not allowing convergence of Do-Not-Disturb app onto the iOS platform.

TRAI's DND app allows users to block pesky callers and text messages.
 TRAI's DND app allows users to block pesky callers and text messages.

New Delhi: Trai Chairman R S Sharma on Thursday expressed his disappointment with the "unreasonable" stance of Apple not allowing the regulator's pesky call reporting app on the iOS platform and asserted that the issue is about users having control over their own data and not one of privacy.

Sharma told PTI that in last few days, ever since the issue was flagged by the regulator, there have been "a couple of e-mails" from the company and some "activity".

The regulator -- which has been exchanging e-mails with the global technology giant for over a year to find a solution to the impasse -- is still open to discussions on the Do Not Disturb (DND) app issue which it feels is all about consumer interest and users' right on their own data.

"I have said to our team, please discuss the issue with them (Apple) and find a solution to the problem. We are not here to oppose anyone," Sharma said, adding that Trai has never shied away from a dialogue with any stakeholder.

Stating that he was "disappointed" with the outcome so far, especially since the talks with Apple have been going on for nearly a year, the Trai chief said, "Our conclusion is that their approach has not been helpful and that they have been adopting dilatory tactics."

An e-mail sent to Apple on the issue remained unanswered at the time of filing of the story.

Meanwhile, Sharma said the issue of users' right over their own data is distinct from privacy. "Let us not confuse the issue (DND issue) with privacy... the issue here is about user's ownership of his/her own data and their ability to share that data consciously with the regulator and third party," he said.

The comment comes against the backdrop of the regulator's ongoing tussle with Apple that, according to Trai, is not allowing convergence of the Do-Not-Disturb app onto the iOS platform.

The Trai app allows users to flag pesky calls and unsolicited messages from telemarketers directly to the regulator, and Google's Android operating system supports the app.

However, for Trai, talks with Apple have not yielded any result and the app is not on the latter's app store.

The regulator, on Wednesday, kicked off discussions on privacy, security and ownership of data in the telecom sector and market watchers believe that one of the triggers could have been the regulator's displeasure over the ongoing episode and the larger question relating to ownership.

Clarifying that the Trai app does not involve a blanket sharing of call logs or SMSes, Sharma said the app is designed in such a way that users can complain about pesky calls and messages by "consciously sharing details of SMS or calls in case of a complaint".

However, the regulator is not contemplating any "action" as of now on the matter, he said, responding to a specific query.

Rubbishing suggestions that the issue may involve the Trai app not meeting some technology protocols of Apple, Sharma said the talks with the company had not even reached a stage where the latter could comment on the robustness of the app.

Tags: telecom regulatory authority of india, apple ios
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)