Apple cooperation on India's 'Do Not Disturb' iPhone app torpedoed over privacy concerns
Despite nominally coming to an agreement to help India's Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) with an iPhone version of its "Do Not Disturb" app, Apple has effectively stopped cooperating, a report indicated on Tuesday.
The two parties haven't met since November, and in January the government told Apple it was still waiting on "basic clarifications" of what an iPhone port of "Do Not Disturb" might offer, Reuters said, citing both a government source and an email conversation it viewed.
An Android version of "Do Not Disturb" has been available since 2016, and lets people combat telemarketers and other unwanted calls and texts by reporting them as spam. To do this, though, it asks for permission to access contacts and read text messages.
While it's possible for iOS apps to read contacts, App Store rules prevent third-party titles from seeing call logs or text messages. Apple has previously said it wouldn't budge on those guidelines.
The company has offered to have technical teams meet with TRAI, but a government source told Reuters that the latter is still waiting on details from Apple before moving ahead.
TRAI head R.S. Sharma has been a vocal critic of Apple's position, arguing that users should be in control of their data. He is now threatening "appropriate legal action" to get the company to accelerate development.
"This is unjust, it shows the approach and attitude of this company," he remarked.
TRAI can only directly regulate telecom firms, but it could ask India's department of telecommunications to use an existing law allowing the government to impose regulations on cellphone makers.